Every day our agency is receiving letters telling us that an active scammer has been identified and asking us to arrest the scammer while the scammer is "on the move".
I would like to address some of the most frequent requests and questions:
1. Catch this scammer!
RD are not a law enforcement agency. We neither "catch", not arrest criminals. However, we can help you to decide whether or not you are being scammed, and also we can help you to collect documents for filing criminal charges against the criminals with Russian police and represent your interests in Russia if necessary.
2. Catch the scammer when she comes to pick up the money!
Western Union sting operations may sound like a good idea, but please consider that:
- you have no idea what bank the funds are going to be picked up at. Scammers can pick up Western Union and MoneyGram transfers in any participating location in the country. Just because the scammer told you to send money to "RUSSIAN-BANK" address 123 ANY STREET SOME CITY 123456 RUSSIA it doesn't mean that the scammer actually intends to pick up the transfer at that bank. Most likely, the scammer will be no where near that bank for the exact reason that someone could try to set her up. Regardless of where they ask you to send it, they can pick the transfer up at any other participating bank.
- unless you have an active criminal case against the scammer and the prosecutors issued a warrant for scammer's arrest, Russian law enforcement has no reason to arrest anyone. You can't point fingers at Russian citizen standing in line at the Western Union office and ask them to be arrested because you think they are criminals.
- even with our help, it will take you several weeks to open a criminal case and several more for the case to be processed.
As you can see, even though the plan may sound like a good idea, it is not possible to implement in most cases.
3. Stop her from doing it to someone else!
We are not a law enforcement agency. If you wish to stop the scammer, you will have to contact the law enforcement and to request a criminal investigation. Once their activity is under investigation, the scammer will quickly close the operation.
We can assist you by representing you in Russia and helping you with the case, but we cannot do it for you.
4. I want to help you catch this criminal!
Have you already sent money to the scammer?
Unless you already sent money to the scammer, your help will be very limited. As I have said, only police can arrest the criminals, and unless you lost money due to scam you are not a victim yet as far as they are concerned.
However, here is what you can do:
- keep the scammer occupied for as long as possible (pretend that you are falling for her scam)
- ask the scammer to provide you with scanned copies of her passports (both Russian and international passports) and visa (if she claims to have a visa)
- submit the scammer's information to all black lists, anti-scam web site and anti-scam forums you can. Publicity is the scammer's main enemy.
- tell as many people in your community as possible about Russian dating scam.
- if you have access to mass media, ask local news paper, radio or tv stations to issue warnings about Russian dating scam and the warning signs. Most people fall for the scam because they were not aware that they could be in danger when corresponding with a lady from FSU. If they have known that, they would probably never loose their money.
But, if you did send money to the scammer, then please do the following:
- immediately contact me
- call Western Union and ask for name of the city where money were picked up
- collect together your WU receipts and records of your correspondence.
For more instructions, go to I Have Been Scammed! What Do I Do Now? page.
Other article you might find interesting:
Russian Dating Scam: How Does It Work? What Are The Warning Signs?
Become Your Own Scam Detective!