Russian women and men are gorgeous, exciting, and exotic dates that are easily found online or in person. It’s easy to be enchanted by them, but like anytime you try online dating, you need to be careful of scammers. Online dating, especially when it comes to Russians, has a lot to consider and many precautions that must be taken to ensure you don’t fall victim to a cruel, harmful romance scam. In this article, we discuss Russian romance scams in detail.
Discussing Russian Romance Scams
Every year, over 15,000 reports of romance scams are documented, and one of the countries that is most heavily involved is Russia. Forbes Magazine has noted that nearly $250 million has been scammed out of the pockets of hopeful online daters by the fraud accounts, and the epidemic only gets worse as time passes. Russia in particular is guilty of this tactic.
Most online dating scams originate from places like Nigeria or other West African countries, but Russia has come to play a large part in the scene, especially recently. Russian scammers tend to target men mostly, but there have been reports of women being scammed by these Russian tricksters as well.
The impact that any online romance scam has on someone is long-lasting and very damaging. While not all Russian dating sites or Russian men and women are out to get you, and you shouldn’t assume so, it’s important to protect yourself from the possibility of it happening to you by learning what these scams are, why they happen, and how to prevent it.
Why Romance Scams Happen From Russia
Russia is the largest country in the world. Thanks to the oil industry, it’s not a country that deals with a large amount of poverty, like Nigeria and other countries that romance scams tend to come from. Yet, it still seems to have several frauds, and romance scams are common.
Why is this? It’s hard to say what it is that compels people to lie and cheat online and hurt others, but a few educated guesses can be made. Try to remain nonjudgmental of Russians as a whole, and don’t lump the whole population together as devious fraudsters.
Like other parts of Eastern Europe, Russia is very technologically advanced and gifted. The average Russian is very good with computers and the internet, perhaps more so than other countries where scammers originate from. Their access to computers and the internet is also much more readily available, and internet censorship isn’t as harsh as other Asian countries nearby.
There is also a large amount of Russian-based users on some of the more mainstream dating apps. Despite only 5% of Russians speaking fluent English, there are many Russian accounts registered on Match, Zoosk, Elite Singles, and other popular services online for matchmaking and dating.
Need To Know About Romance Scams
The FBI documented one of the most popular and severe romance scams that happened to a divorced American woman in 2014-2016. While not every story will be the same as this, it rings true for many victims of romance scams online, and it has a very valuable lesson to teach anyone who uses social media.
It was 2014 when the epidemic really started gaining some traction and being covered by news outlets, but it’s still a big problem here today in 2019. The most important thing to remember is that anyone can be a victim, anyone can be targeted, and these scammers can come from any online social media site.
Since 2015, a horrible year for hundreds of scam victims, the amount of romance scams online was more than doubled. These numbers show that we are only losing this battle online. Though the guilt should fall on the criminals in these instances, it’s often the victim that finds themselves with the responsibility of the issue.
You have an obligation to yourself to be mindful and wary when online dating, and it’s up to you to take the necessary measures to protect against romance scams. While it isn’t your fault if someone abuses your generosity and tricks you, you can be your own best friend here and say no.
Not every romance scam is on a major scale like the stories that hit the news. Some scammers don’t go out with the hopes of sucking out thousands, but instead will skip out with just a few hundred under their belt and jump from target to target. They may start by asking for low amounts, a couple hundred or a thousand, and then move up to bigger requests after they see you’re willing to “help” them.
How Do Russian Romance Scams Work
Scammers can be found in all sorts of different stories and accounts, but it seems that the Russian tactic stays pretty similar between reports. These scammers pose as beautiful, young, enticing women on online dating accounts and target the bleeding, lonely hearts.
Unfortunately, what you see is very different from what you get. Behind those pictures usually sits a man, or a couple, using falsified images and stories to swindle their money from your wallet.
The Most Popular Type Of Russian Dating Scam
First, they are charming and sweet, softening showering their victim with praise and affection.
Next the scammer will start to include little sob stories to help manipulate the situation. Perhaps they have a bad home life, or lost their job, or an ex is hunting them. Soon the conversation will evolve into the scammers talking about getting to their victim, wherever they are. This is the perfect open door into asking for money for a VISA or green card.
This type of of Russian romance scam is popularly labeled the Russian Bride Scam. Men are primarily the victim of it, but it can go both ways and occasionally does. The whole idea and plot of this scam is to manipulate the victim into falling in love enough to send large amounts of money to cover airline tickets, VISA applications, and anything else related to crossing the distance so the bride can come “home”, with no intention of actually doing so.
Once the money is secured in the scammer’s account, they often disappear and leave no trace, since everything was fake about them anyway. From there, it’s on to the next victim.
Other Russian Romance Scams
Not all online frauds like to use the bride scam method, especially when targeting and attracting women. Instead, they get a little more crafty and devious in their lies. As they begin to spin the web, you can start to see some discrepancies and repetition in their stories.
A few other popular scamming tales that Russian users tend to rely on by using the horror of poverty or the need for protection. These scammers will convince you that you’re the only person who can help, and they are at danger if you don’t.
Finally, you may encounter the more rare scam, but still noteworthy, that plays up on the language barrier between English-speaking countries and Russia. A dating site user will know enough English to get you interested, but then suddenly inform you they need help affording a translator, or English classes, or something else along those lines.
Are You At Risk For Being Scammed by a Russian?
Have you ever wondered if you fit the profile of being targeted by scammers? Russian scams tend to focus on a specific demographic and set of behavior, so if you answer yes to any of these questions, you could be at risk for being targeted.
- Are you between the ages of 30-45?
- Are you a man or woman living in America or the UK?
- Are you willing to talk privately through email, off of a protected dating site?
- Do you make a very good amount of money yearly, and have that written on your profile?
- Are you divorced?
Some of these aspects cannot be helped, like your income or your age, but it’s good to be aware of this anyway. That said, there are some things you can do to protect yourself against being targeted by scammers.
It is important that you perform a quick background check on who you are actually speaking to on the internet (you can do that here). The common questions that spring to mind are:
- Are they using fake identities?
- Am I really speaking to a real person from the USA?
To help the users of this site we have partnered with BeenVerified so you can check exactly that. This checking service reveals everything about this would be romance scammer and if they are a real person!
Helpful Information Available on BeenVerified:
- Arrest Records (Please check this!)
- Photos (Helps check if the same photos are used for multiple profiles with different names)
- Email Addresses
- Phone Numbers
- Social Profiles (IMPORTANT – Do they have a real social profile or multiple)
- Home Addresses
- Relatives & Associates
- Sex Offenders Register (Be safe who you are meeting!)
- And More…
If you have the slightest doubt about who you are speaking to… Please use this service!
What To Look Out For With Online Russian Dating
You shouldn’t give up on Russian dating just because there are a few liars in the mix. You’d be missing out on some of the most amazing, intelligent, and beautiful people on Earth! If Russians are your favorite flavor, just take an extra step or two to help protect your heart and bank account, and dive right in.
With a few easy rules, you can avoid being scammed, and even being a target for scams. These 4 simple guidelines, if followed every time you meet someone online, will be the difference between heartache and soulmate.
1. Stay on the dating site for communication.
Russian scammers don’t want an app tracking their method, and they hate leaving an easily followed paper trail, even virtually. If you’re being scammed, they’ll quickly try to get your contact information, sometimes within the first few messages. This is usually your email address. If someone you have just started talking to tries to convince you to leave the app for more communication, you’re probably being scammed.
2. Keep your income private
Many people think that boasting about their wealthy status in society will get them more attention. Well, you wouldn’t be wrong, but it isn’t usually the kind of attention you want. Aside from attracting shallow gold-diggers and sugar babies, you’re the best person for a scammer to target. If someone online starts asking questions about how much you make, your net worth, or even about the things you buy… be on high alert. Those are very suspicious questions!
3. Ask questions.
Since scammers make it a project to lie to as many people as possible, their personas are usually shallow and vague. Their horror stories to solicit funds are regurgitated and stale, and little effort has gone into their own backstory and fake personality. Even some of the most simple questions can help you determine if you’re being scammed. Typically, a Russian romance scammer will avoid answering personal questions, and constantly shifting the conversation back onto you.
4. Never send money.
Of course, if someone you’re talking to online but you’ve never met in person asks for money, do not send it! Real online daters wouldn’t dream of asking a stranger for money. Sometimes, a scammer is so good with words, their victim offers to send money without even needing to be asked. If someone you are flirting with online begins to complain about financial problems, don’t try to help them by paying the bill in question. This is how they get you, and that money won’t ever be returned.
These may seem like no-brainer rules, but if everyone followed them, all those scams would have never happened. Many people are tricked easily and listen to their heart over their mind.
How To Protect Against Russian Romance Scams
When using dating platforms online, it’s important to use only safe, secured companies with a great reputation and a trustworthy member base. Registering on a safe Russian dating website is the easiest way to avoid getting scammed and your heart broken and bank account drained.
If you suspect you are being scammed, or have been scammed in the past, or maybe encounter it in the future, make sure you report the liar online immediately to protect yourself and others.
Also, make sure to do a quick background check to ensure you are speaking to the right person online. We recommend BeenVerified service.
Russian romance scams can be found on any website, and they aren’t uncommon. Being a victim or target of a Russian fraud account is scary, sometimes truly devastating… but this guide is here to help. This is a preventable problem.