Dating & Marriage With Women From Russia, Ukraine, Belarus & FSU > Dating Scams and Suspicious Agencies

The Original "Tablets of Stone"

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leslied:
I published this article in back in September 2002 on the old a long forgotten forum.  The scene has moved on in the last 6 years but the arguments are still relevant.  It should be taken as a set of ideas which should be considered by every newcomer.  Feel free to add any discussion.  Times change...

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SCAM ADVICE FOR NEWBIES

I am getting weary of posting advice on every thread opened by a newbie that basically asks the same question  “Am I being scammed???”  I know the other old hands are suffering from “advice fatigue” too.  Occasionally BB wields his “clue bat”, particularly when the newbie is particularly gormless….  Ron (witchdoctor) offers terse to the point advice.  BB’s catch phrase “Run Forrest, RUN!!” is heard.  Some of the newer members are pitching in – “Lets make fun of the gomer!!”  Newbies  don’t read the archived posts.  They pitch in and ask questions that an evening reading would answer.  There is a problem here though, the archived threads do contain very wide ranging advice which will cover maybe 80% of newbie queries, but you have to read a lot of threads to gain this knowledge.  Most newbies don’t bother. 

This thread is designed to concentrate the Scam advice in one place.

I have spent 3 years looking for my woman.  I might have found her now.  I have written to HUNDREDS of FSU women, been involved with several agencies.  I have made LOTS of mistakes.  I have lined Fat Yuri’s pockets.  I have also learned a thing or three…..

The Fat Yuri demon manifests itself in thousands of ways.  He is getting much smarter,  the scams are getting slower, more sophisticated.  The business plans of many agencies cover scammers trails.  Many agencies have scam business practices.  I could go on and on……

There is one common theme to all of this – MONEY.  Period.  It is as simple as that.

STAGE ONE - INTERNET MARRIGE & DATING AGENCIES

This business has really taken off.  Do a Yahoo or Google search.  You get THOUSANDS of sites.  Sad to say it but since I started my search back in 1999, the number of scam agencies has grown exponentially.  When I started out the most usual business practice was to buy addresses.  Now the agencies try to “lock you in”  make you spend more $$ with them. 

The most obvious scam is the agency will not let you have the women’s address and telephone number.  You have to use their expensive e-mail and translation service. Or match making. Or book an expensive trip.  Yada, Yada, Yada….  Here is my first rule;

TABLET OF STONE  1 – DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH ANY AGENCY WHICH WILL NOT LET THE LADY SEND YOU HER FULL CONTACT DETAILS.

If you progress beyond a couple of exchanges of letters ask for the ladies full name, address and telephone number (or the number of a friend where you can ring her).

TABLET OF STONE 2 – IF THE LADY WILL NOT GIVE YOU HER FULL CONTACT DETAILS – RUN FORREST, RUN!!

This is so obvious! But so many newbies get caught at this point.  If your woman will not give you this information she is either an internet spook, a scammer, or not interested in you. Maybe she is all three. You are wasting your time, move on.

STAGE TWO – WRITING AND WISH FULFILLMENT

At this stage nearly all guys start to entertain “wish fulfillment fantasies”  They stare at her photos, read the love letters and begin to wish their “red-hot-kova” is won!   The lady enters their dreams (and maybe their masturbation fantasies!).  In this state many guys are vulnerable, they think they can buy their dreams and in the process often fill the purses of scam women.  I know this is true.  Been there, done that and come back to reality wearing the  humiliated tee shirt…

Experience has taught me a few things.

TABLET OF STONE 3 – VERIFY YOU ARE WRITING TO A REAL WOMAN WHO IS INTERESTED IN YOU

Again this is obvious, but I have made this mistake and so do lots of other guys! If you are getting attached to a woman you MUST do two things.

1.  You must verify she is who she says she is.  The best way to do this is to have a gift (Flowers?)  hand delivered  to her home address and get photos of her receiving your gift.  I think it is a good idea to have this done independently (i.e. not through the agency where you met)  Newbies  - If you are uncertain how to do this post a thread saying how do I send flowers to my girl in “Kiev” (insert the name of her city here).  One of the services here will post a reply to your request.  This will cost around $50.  It is money well spent.  It checks your ladies address and you get photos of her as she really is (Not the professional photos which could have been taken years ago)

2. You must talk with her on the telephone.  If she speaks good English this is easy.  If not organize 3 way calls with an interpreter.  Newbies – Look in the classified ads section.  Several good interpreters can help you with this.  Talk with your lady, reality check – does she sound honest and genuine?  Is she interested in you?


OK so now you know you are talking to a real person who appears to like you.  Do not make the common mistake of offering her money.  You cannot buy her love or affection. You can fill her purse though! (Fat Yuri says Thanks!) The next problem that arises when your “girl friend” asks for money.  There is a golden rule here.

TABLET OF STONE 4 – NEVER SEND MONEY TO A WOMAN YOU HAVE NOT MET

This is very obvious, simple, but we get lots of newbie posts on this.  Fat Yuri is getting smarter.  Scams are getting more sophisticated and slow burning.  The strategy of;  Slowly, Slowly,  Catchee Monkey! is becoming much more common   It is this simple.  If you do not send money Fat Yuri is not interested.  You avoid him by obeying this rule.  If you do send money, it is a gift.  You are not paying for anything so there is no "money back" guarantee.


TABLET OF STONE 5 – IF A WOMAN ASKS YOU FOR MONEY, IT’S A SCAM

I you have checked the lady out as above I will make a single exception to this.  If she is using an internet café allow her $25 a month max to cover costs (exchange of 2 e-mails a week).  No more. 

Any other request for money is a HUGE RED FLAG.  Decent women do not ask for money. The scammers are getting very smart.  They want to have their fish securely hooked before they ask for money.  The guy is vulnerable.  My Natasha (insert your woman’s name here) a scammer NO! (insert wish fulfillment fantasy here)  It cannot be true!  BUT IT IS.  Period.  Scammers are very inventive!

$350 for tourist visa so she can visit you.
$1500 for Visa and air tickets to visit you
$500 for emergency dental work.
$3000 for hospital expenses to cover car accident.

Yada, Yada, Yada.  The list is endless.  Guys are scammed all the time.  Most are so embarrassed they keep quite about it.  Some post details of the scam here or on other sites. 

I have learnt that we train the FSU witches.  We create the sharks.  Sending money feeds them, causes them to breed, multiply….  DO NOT SEND MONEY.

If you get this far with your internet girl friend you are doing well.  Now you just have to contain your wish fulfillment fantasies and remember this rule;

TABLET OF STONE 6 – YOU CANNOT FALL IN LOVE UNTIL YOU MEET

Do not fall in love with photos.  Expressions of love in letters are not grounded in reality.  You have to get on a plane and go and meet your lady.  You have to see if this relationship is real.

TABLET OF STONE 7 – PLAN A TRIP TO FSU

 Sometimes “the write one, visit one” (WOVO) strategy works.  There are happy endings! Other times it does not.  I wrote to a teacher in Samara.  Wonderful letters.  I lived my wish fulfillment fantasy.  I went to visit her ($3000 trip).  At the first meeting the chemistry between us was negative.  I never saw or spoke to her again.  Four months of hopes and dreams smashed in two hours.  Many other experienced guys have had this experience.  This is why I favor the “Write many Visit many” (WMVM) strategy.  If you use the WOVO strategy remember my final rule;

TABLET OF STONE – 8  ALWAYS HAVE BACK UP PLANS FOR YOUR TRIP

You have lots of choices here.  Just make sure that your vacation plan does not restrict you to being with a single woman.  You might hate each other!  Visiting a woman in her home town is best.  You can really check things out then.  Meet her family and friends.  Make sure you have an exit strategy if things don’t work out.  Always have a back up plan to meet other women or to be a tourist.

OK guys Moses had 10 commandments on his “Tablets of Stone”  Add your ideas and thoughts. Your 2 cents.   I hope this thread will become a  first stop for newbies. 

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The author claims copyright on this article.  All rights reserved.

froid:
Where is the article for the women on "How to avoid THOSE guys"?  Would only be fair to write up one of those too. 

Simoni:
Excellent thougts, Leslie.  :party0011:

Your eary work has become the standard on many sites today...

Don't fall in love with a picure
Never send money to a girl you don't know
Run at the first sign of a scam

You are a pioneer, my friend.  BTW--that does not make you OLD  ;) LOL

Manny:

--- Quote from: tablets of stone --- TABLET OF STONE 4 – NEVER SEND MONEY TO A WOMAN YOU HAVE NOT MET

This is very obvious, simple, but we get lots of newbie posts on this.  Fat Yuri is getting smarter.  Scams are getting more sophisticated and slow burning.  The strategy of;  Slowly, Slowly,  Catchee Monkey! is becoming much more common   It is this simple.  If you do not send money Fat Yuri is not interested.  You avoid him by obeying this rule.  If you do send money, it is a gift.  You are not paying for anything so there is no "money back" guarantee.
--- End quote ---

I would like to explore this.

There is a world of difference between sending money to an e-mail correspondent who is probably Fat Yuri after a few Cozy Home letters, and a man, having validated the woman is indeed a woman and who she says she is, sending a few hundred to facilitate something useful for the developing relationship. (Maybe an internet connection etc)

Allow me to expand on this - after I first met my [now] wife for a few days, I had validated she was indeed a woman but not that she was not a scammer. Our next meeting was to be Paris then driving up to Holland. Of course, I was paying (I invited her) so when we got around to paying for her Schengen Visa and ticket from a Russian Travel Agent, the travel agent could only accept money by Western Union.  :duh:

Around this time I had found the old a long forgotten forum forum, and everywhere I read "Dont send money" and "Fat Yuri and Western Union" - Whilst nowadays I can tell the wheat from the chaff (I hope!) - back then, I argued about Western Union and extolled the virtues of Expedia e-tickets until the cows came home. Eventually, my [now] wife said "OK, dont send the money - I wont come" - I decided to risk it, it was maybe $1000 flights and Visa etc. I am now glad I sent that Western Union!  :duh:

Since then, as most here know, my wife started a small agency website. We have had four or five times when it has been necessary for a guy to send money to a woman he has not met, one time (As we knew the woman) I even said to the guy (as he had read forums and was worried) I would underwrite his payment, if he got scammed I would refund him from my pocket. He is now married to that girl. His WU was to pay for her Internet connection.

A guy she worked for from the US decided to fund an Internet connection recently, to a woman he had not met, (my wife had validated her as best she could by telephone prior of course) - with my wifes help, that girl got Internet, then Skype, and she and the guy were speaking daily. That guy as we speak is on his second visit and doing K1 paperwork in Ukraine - it would never had been possible had he not have sent money.

A guy we all know, [who shall remain nameless unless he identifies himself] recently sent some money to a girl to facilitate again an Internet connection, that girl got Skype also, they now speak on webcam every day. He visits her for the first time very soon. My wife had to argue with her on the phone to get her to accept his money for an Internet connection. She did, but it wasnt easy. She didnt want cash from some guy she had never met.

There are many valid reasons for a guy to send money in certain circumstances. Sometimes to a woman he has not met. I quote below from my forthcoming book:

The main lesson here is never send money to someone you have never actually met for healthcare, visas, tickets, flights, unforeseen emergencies, rent or anything of that nature. Never send any money for anything unless the woman has been verified as totally genuine, preferably by a native Russian speaker (Your independent interpreter/translator perhaps) and you are in serious communication, by which I mean are in frequent telephone contact with and whom you have all contact information for. Never send money to people who are only e-mail correspondents. A genuine woman will never ask you for money, at least not until you have met face to face."

I maintain there are sometimes good reasons to send money to a woman you have not met. I quote further from said book.

I know many situations where sensible well informed men have sent money to women they haven’t yet physically met; I don’t recall any I know of being scammed in this way. There is a big difference between sending money to a photograph of Hairy Boris after a few “I want to make the cozy home” e-mails and a sensible man, having established without doubt that the woman is genuine and having opened up all lines of communication, to send some money to facilitate something that will be beneficial to the developing relationship.
Most men that do send money do so to facilitate an internet connection or in order for the woman to commence English lessons without delay or some other useful thing. Perhaps she has to pay a deposit for the flat you rent when you visit or some other advance visit related expense. Such an amount will not be very much in the grand scheme of things, it will be a few hundred rather than a couple of thousand.

The sending money situation is not entirely black and white.

leslied:
Manny

I welcome the opportunity for discussion.  First let us define what we mean by a commandment (or a Tablet of Stone). My definition is “A simple statement of a guiding principle”  For example let us consider Moses 6th Commandment (or 5th if you are Catholic)

“Thou Shalt not kill” 

If you are a strict Quaker there is no circumstance which will cause you to break this rule.  A maniac could break into your house, kill your kids and be raping your wife but you still would not kill him.  Well, I am not a Quaker and I can assure you that in this circumstance the maniac would die - horribly.  I agree with the general rule but there are situations where I would disregard it.

I penned this article in the same spirit.  I set out eight general guiding principles.  Of course you can disregard any of them depending on circumstance.  I have done so myself.  I sent travel money to women to meet me in Kiev.  My personal judgement was good.  They all turned up.  However if one had not,  it would have been no big deal.  So I lost a couple of  $100 - Never mind...

The article is dated Manny.   Back when it was written Skype was not invented.  Maybe one woman in 20 had access to the internet at home or work.  We had only recently moved on from snail mail.  Internet cafes were the way to go then – hence my amplification on that subject in the article.  Nowadays help with setting up Skype etc. falls into the same category.  Most women now have a home internet connection and this has done much to level the playing field in my humble opinion.

My personal view is that you should not engage in long correspondence before meeting.  It is based on my personal experience.  Other people (particularly those who like writing) may have different views.  That is fine.  My opinion is it is better to get your ass on a plane and go see if the relationship is real. 

I presume you have read the “scam sites” they make pitiful reading.  Nearly all the scam listings have the same theme.  A guy tries to buy his dreams and then turns bitter when it does not work out as he planned. 

Anything you give to a woman is a gift.  She is not obligated to you because she accepts your gifts.  You do not have ANY right to demand their return.  You cannot buy a women’s love so don’t begin by trying to!  

You recommend that a guy checks out that the woman is real and has a genuine interest.  We agree on that.  Andrew and Jooky don’t share that opinion.  We have had several long discussions on the boards.  My views have changed over the years.  I still think that you should do some basic checking.  A gift is a good idea.  However going beyond that and getting someone “checked out”  by Elena’s  models (or another agency’s) “detectives” is going too far.  Akin to stalking.  If someone is not prepared to be honest with you, simply move on.  Scam obsessed people will always fail.  Beginning a bicultural relationship is a leap in the dark.  You have to be able to trust in order to succeed...

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