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Avoiding Scams
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Avoiding Scams

Scam Avoidance

Avoiding scams is usually easy. It can be summed up in three words, Don't send money. A simple rule, but many men don't follow it. Of course there are exceptions. If you've met a lady in person and things are serious, it's not uncommon for men to send money to support them through the process of comming to live here. However, except under unusual circumstances, sending money to someone you've never met is not a good idea. There have been men who've done this and the lady's needs turned out to be legitimate. We're not going to say that every woman who asks for money is pulling a scam, but any request from her, particularly before you've met should be regarded as highly suspect.

Scamming Women

Some men will claim scam when a woman simply decides to terminate a relationship in which he's invested a lot of money through travel, phone bills, and sometimes financial assistance for the lady. This may be due to a conscious or unconscious belief on the man's part that he is "buying" a woman. Those who really believe in mail order brides probably think they've been scammed when any woman they want decides she doesn't want him. In my own personal experience, I encountered one "woman" (it was most likely a man using the lady's photos) out of 150 who was shady. There are indeed scamming women, and men pretending to be women. The countries from which the majority of the ladies come from generally have a considerably higher level of corruption and petty cons are quite common in these places. A good rule of thumb for avoiding scams is to not send money. Pretty simple, but some men rely on their money to impress a woman. Not a good idea.

Signs that your lady may be trying to scam you-

  • She's "in love" with you after only a few letters/emails

Until you've met in person and spent time together, any claims of love should be suspect. Even if she seems genuine about it, you should seriously consider moving on to a more rational, level-headed person who wants to take the time to get to know someone REALLY well before making ANY type of commitment.

  • She needs money to secure your lodging for a visit

I had this one tried on me personally. There's no need to send money to secure a hotel, etc. for your visit. If she suggests this, be careful. Especially if she asks you to send cash.

  • My mother/grandmother/son/daughter needs an operation

It's not appropriate at all in any culture I know of to ask a stranger you've never met to help you.

  • She offers to come visit you

But of course, she needs money for a visa, airline ticket, etc. In many of these countries, very few ladies can qualify for a tourist visa. Perhaps some are niave enough to believe they can get one, but more likely they simply want the cash.

  • She wants to study English

Unless you've met in person and things are serious, you have no reason to be paying for her to study English. If you do decide to pay for this, make sure the fees are realistic. Costs should be considerably less than what you'd expect to pay here in the US. I paid for my wife's English lessons while she was waiting for the fiancee visa in Colombia. The cost was $50 per month. Some men have been told these lessons costs upwards of $500 per month and have paid it, BEFORE EVER MEETING THE LADY! Trying to impress her with their financial assistance no doubt. I doubt the women were impressed with these men's intelligence!

Resources listing scamming, and potentially scamming women-

  • A page dedicated to exposing potential East European scammers

Scamming Agencies

  • Email forwarding

There are plenty of legitimate, above board agencies offering email translation and forwarding. However, this method of operation can easily be used to con men out of money. You never know exactly who you're writing to! Be sure if you use this type of service that the agency will not filter out her address and/or telephone number. Ask her for those VERY early in the correspondence. If they are not forthcoming..... run, don't walk, away. When the service has no other means of generating revenue than the email forwarding and translation, they have to remain between you and the lady in order to continue the cash stream. As soon as you bypass them and start communicating directly with the lady, the agency's out of a job. Sometimes those "free" contact services where you pay nothing for addresses can be pretty expensive when each two way exchange costs you money.

    • The letters are completely impersonal, and she does not seem to be responding to the questions you've brought up in a previous letter. Maybe "she's" not writing the letters. They could be general form letters with little other than a sentence or two changed to make it seem legitimate.
    • My Mother/Grandmother/Son/Etc. needs an operation
  • Agency plants

Many of the free, or nearly free, on-line international dating services have ads placed there by agencies. Typically, the women start corresponding with men and then inform them that they can't pay their internet access fees and that if the man wants to continue corresponding with her, he should pay $$ to the agency providing e-mail services for the lady.

Sometimes the ladies aren't even aware that the agency placed their personal ad at one of these sites. Sometimes the lady doesn't exist at all but is rather a pretty face with an e-mail staff ready to write back to men who fall for them. This is particularly a problem with ladies from the FSU and some of the free or low cost sites have even had to stop accepting ads from some parts of the FSU due to the large number of complaints they've gotten from male clients.

If you're going to use one of these services, at least be aware before you begin that you might be writing to women who either do not exist, or have been planted on the site by the agency representing them to gain more business.

  • Life time memberships

Life time, or long term memberships good till cancelled or married may sound like a good idea to some, and there are instances when they may be the best choice for some men, but be aware that the lifetime of the agency offering it may be considerably shorter than your life-span. If they go out of business, you could be left high and dry.

In general, it's usually best to avoid paying large up-front membership fees for agency services. The majority will operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, or offer relatively short term memberships. Paying a large amount for a membership should be done only if you're confident in the service. Perhaps a friend who's judgement you trust has used them and given you a recommendation. When paying large sums for services up front, it's a very good idea to really know what to expect from a service before you pay. Better yet, buy a shorter term of service for a lesser price from another agency so in case you're not satisfied with their services, you haven't lost up to several thousand dollars for your education on the ins and outs of the agency business.

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