Combating Online and In-Person Scams

Online Scams

In-Person Scams

PPL - Pay Per Letter Scam
This is where an agency or site will charge you for fabricated correspondence. Of course the girl in the picture is real enough. She exists somewhere on earth, however the person doing the correspondence on her behalf is usually a paid translator. Variations of this include pay by the minute for chat or video, the latter being a little more difficult as they have to get the actual girl to go on video. If the guy ever does show up to her town to meet, and if the girl is real she is filled in on the fabricated correspondence then they ply their trade of in-person scamming. PPL scam is often for some a difficult addiction to break.
Taxi Scam
This is where she will ask you to pay a taxi to and from the meeting. Often the amount asked for is exorbitant or inflated. The taxi driver could be her brother, boyfriend or husband. In some cases she will collect the taxi fare from you but use public transport such as metro or bus. Other times she will lie about where she lives. For example she will claim to live in Irpin, Brovary or other far city but really she lives in Kiev. We've seen the ask go as high as $300-$500 just for taxi fare.
Flower and Gift Delivery
This is 99% hoax. The girl rarely gets to keep the gifts or flowers. An arrangement is made with a local florist to have the girl's photo taken with the bouquet of roses you've sent. However, the girl doesn't get to keep the roses. Usually she receives a 10% commission for her time and the florist receives a little something for allowing her to pose with the flowers. The same is true with gifts. Anyone can go to any shop and have their photo taken holding an item. No need to purchase it. One agency had gifts sitting on their office shelf for this purpose. The gift goes back on the shelf after the photo is taken. Another variation of this scam is where the agency charges exorbitantly ($150 or more) for the flowers or gifts but then buys the cheapest variant available available at a local supermarket (example - a box of chocolates). In this case she does get to keep what has been sent but a bad impression is created due to the cheapness of the gifts.
Restaurant Scam
This is where the girl is working together with the restaurant and she will receive a commission from your total bill (usually about 10%). That's why she will try to run the bill up $300-$400 at a time. She will order the most expensive dishes on the menu and often barely touch a thing. An expensive bottle of wine is ordered but then a cheap wine is substituted. The same with designer water. If the restaurant is working with her often special menus are pulled out at the time of the scam. To avoid this never let her choose the meeting venue.

 

Travel Scam
She can travel to you but she needs you to send her money for an airplane ticket or visa fees. Sometimes she will claim that she can come up with part of the money and needs you to help with the rest. Often a promise is made that the money will be returned to you once you meet in person. This scam can occur even if you travel to her country. She can claim to be in another city but wants you to send her money for taxi fare.
Shop Scam
The shop scam is similar to the restaurant scam but more often than not the goods that you purchased are later returned and the monies divvied up.
Money for Medicine or Operation
She will claim that a relative is sick or in need of an operation. She will pull on your heart strings to send money to cover the cost of medicine or an expensive operation. Often she will claim that her relative or loved one will die they don't have the operation immediately.
Apartment Rental Scam
She will insist you stay in an apartment she has selected for you because it's close to her area. She will demand one month be paid in cash in advance without you even seeing the apartment. Often these apartments turn out to be run down, on the outskirts of town or owned by someone she knows. The amount she is charging you is inflated and not in line with current market rates. To avoid this never let her arrange your accommodation. Use Airbnb or Booking.com.
Old Computer
She will claim to have an old broken down computer and only able to communicate through email (usually Gmail as the ip address is concealed.) She will say that she doesn't have modern apps such as Skype, Viber or Whatsapp. She will write long scripted letters and never really answer any of your specific questions. Eventually the requests for money come in - travel expenses, medical emergency, etc. Most ladies in the FSU have smart phones with these apps and it would be a rare exception if someone did not. Often she will claim to live in a small undesirable town with no hotels or restaurants or in a war zone so that you will not want to visit. She will have to travel to you but at your expense. Once you send the funds excuses are made and requests for money continue or she just disappears.
The Pharmacy Scam
She takes you to a pharmacy and has you buy expensive drugs. These drugs are later resold on the black market.
Birthday Scam
This is a scam that can happen online or in person. She pretends that her birthday is coming up real soon and will expect something in the form of money, gifts or an expensive shopping trip. She will provide no documentation of her true date of birth and will pretend to be offended if you ask.
 

 

Interpreter Scam
This is where your date will pretend not to speak or understand a word of English. An interpreter will be required usually at the rate of $20+ per hour. This will be divided between the two at the end of your date. Afterward they will share a giggle with a tea and cake.
For the purpose of this site we use the term she, but she could actually be a he behind the keyboard. Professional Dater
A professional dater is one who dates for a living and for material gain. She usually speaks fluent English so no interpreter is required however she has no intentions of having a serious relationship or even a casual one. Her main aim is to deplete your financial resources to enhance herself giving nothing or very little in return. A professional dater employs all the tricks of in-person scamming.
Tip: A scam is anything that separates you from your hard earned money with little or no return on your investment. Financial Support Scam
This is where you establish a relationship with her and she asks for financial support but she has no intentions to culminate the relationship with marriage (or she may already be married or have a boyfriend). This financial support can go on for years. She may be receiving financial support from different men thus creating multiple income streams. Be careful to be sure that you are "the only one" before offering financial support.

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Combating Online and In-Person Scams