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How to protect yourself from "Russian Brides Scammers"

By Elena Petrova

"RUSSIAN BRIDE SCAM" - what is it?

Many men do not realize when they become a subject to a common Internet scam, often referred to as Russian Bride Scam. They think that this scam can only happen to some men who are looking for a "Russian mail order bride".

In reality, many men become a victim of a Russian Bride Scam without even realizing it. Although there are many honest Russian women seeking partners online (was one of them - albeit long time ago :-)), if you don't know what to look for, you may get scammed.

So, how can you recognize and detect a Russian Brides Scam? And more importantly, how can you protect yourself from becoming a victim?

As with any problem, early detection is the key. Here is the list of most common points for a Russian Bride Scam:

  • Scammers usually contact their victims via email, directly to your email address. 

  • In most cases, this contact is unsolicited - this means, you have not contacted this person first; they found you and contacted you.

  • In most cases, you were not looking to meet someone from Russia - this means, you are not aware of Russian realities, rules and regulations, and what is the usual process of meeting someone from Russia if you want to start a relationship or friendship.

  • Scammers will send you sweet emails and many photos; the person in the photos in a pretty young woman, photos will be unprofessional, featuring the woman in different clothes and settings; the photos will become more revealing and sexy as the correspondence goes.

  • After a series of emails and photos, you will be asked to send money to this person - usually to enable a personal meeting (to apply for a visa to your country and/or to purchase tickets) or to help her in an emergency (her mom needs surgery, her grandma died and money is needed for funerals, etc).

  • The money will be requested to be sent via a wire transfer - usually Western Union or MoneyGram.

How do you know it is a scam?

The sure fire sign is that YOU ARE ASKED TO SEND MONEY to someone you never met in person.

If you have any doubt whether this person is a scammer or not, I need to tell you that whilst you may have heard about "Russian women scammers" or "Russian brides scammers", most Russian bride scams are run by men, who write letters, gather photos and arrange people to receive funds in Western Union - and the women receiving the money are NOT the pretty women in the photos; they are usually old and unattractive, and they are certainly NOT the women who you are supposedly corresponding with.

The series of letters are prewritten and hundreds of other potential victims receive the same letters. Photos can be simply downloaded from Internet and have nothing to do with the person composing letters or the person receiving the money.

How can you check it?

Most likely you can't - unless you spend hundreds of dollars for customized background checks, and remember you need to find a service that deals with Russia. So, the simplest way to protect yourself from the Russian bride scam is to NEVER SEND MONEY to anyone you met on the Internet and never met in person.

This will ensure you do not become a victim of the Russian bride scams, and never end up with a broken heart.

If you received unsolicited correspondence from a "Russian woman", you can also detect the scam early offering to write to her in Russian and translate your letters through the free Russian-English translator and see if she responds in Russian. Any normal Russian woman would jump on the opportunity and start writing to you in Russian. "Russian brides scammers" will usually continue sending you prewritten letters in broken English.

Another helpful way is to get face-to-face communication with the woman you are talking to, via Skype or any other program that allows video chat. You will see the person you are actually talking to and this is a great help to ensure the person is real and is who she says she is. Also use phone and SMS messages as all Russian women those days have mobile phones and you can practically talk to her at any time. If you can't or she is usually not available, this is a red flag. If a woman is so much interested in you, she will want to communicate with you by phone and see your face, too - to make sure you are who you say you are! (There are male-scammers, too - and they do exactly the same thing, contact Russian women and tell them they are in love with them, and then ask for money. Anybody can get scammed and women get scammed, too!)

There can be many variations to the Russian bride scam, however, the key is always the same - you are asked to send money to someone overseas.

If you don't send money, you will never be scammed!

The second most important thing when searching for love on the Internet, is to use a reputable dating agency that does the job of weeding out potential scammers for you. 

Russian dating agencies know their business and can find out information about their applicants through their local contacts that you may not be able to find. Look for a service that you feel comfortable with and has a good reputation, and you will have much more luck with beautiful Russian women online!


Elena Petrova is a former "Russian mail order bride" with 10-year experience in the Russian brides industry. She is the creator of the famous Russian Brides Cyber Guide, an informational site about Russian women seeking men for marriage, and the Russian dating agency Elena's Models, featuring Russian, Ukrainian and Eastern European women seeking western men for partners. Elena is also the creator of the first "Black List" of Russian brides scammers, explaining to men how to protect yourself from scammers and meet honest Russian women online.


Black List - List of Russian brides-scammers

The Universal Crib On Finding A Russian Wife - 101 tips for men seeking a young, beautiful Russian bride: the most compressed, step-by-step guidance on finding, courting and marrying a Russian woman.

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By Clinton Carey: "One day, over a beer with my brother, he suggested to me that I place an ad on the Internet with a matchmaking agency. I laughed, and dismissed the idea. As the weeks went on, I thought to myself, "Why not? I travel a lot. I don't have time to meet women normally, and I definitely don't like the bar scene with its' head games and lack of quality in both men and women. So, I placed an ad..."

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There is too much prejudice towards "Russian brides" - Russian women seeking men for marriage, both positive and negative. I call this prejudice "myths", and consider them one by one.

Why Russian Women? - If you decided to find a Russian wife, you would be inundated with questions of the type "Why Russian Women?" from everybody you cared to share your idea with. Surprisingly, every Russian woman you are writing to will ask the same question: "Why do you want to find a wife in Russia?" After a while, you might start questioning your own sanity in doing the thing which everybody, including your dates in this Internet rendezvous, consider strange enough to request explanations. Here you will find some ready-to-use answers for your family, friends and Russian women you are writing to.

Russian women secrets - Do's and don'ts in your relationship with a Russian lady.

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Article of Richard A. Blackwood about do's and don'ts in the search for a Russian wife - must read for any man considering the idea of finding a Russian bride. In less than 20 minutes you will know more than some men know after a few years of their search!


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