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In most cases you can tell that the girl is a scammer just by looking at her profile.
Tip 1. Most scammy profiles start with words "I the sociable girl", "I the cheerful girl", or whatever, with "am" omitted. Or, if it says "To me of 25 years", or whatever age, but that weird phrase "to me of xx years" or "me of xx years". Yes, it is a scam!!! Believe my experience, each and every profile that started with this particular cliche and had this grammar mistake, later turned out to be a scam. Don't ask me why they are putting this in their profiles!!! Stupid, perhaps?? Or maybe they use some absolutely weird translator that translates the phrase like that? Or maybe they have some "profile writer" in their "staff" who writes it? I have no idea!
There is nothing wrong with making mistakes when it is not your native language. After all, English is not my native language too, and as you see I make mistakes too. But to start each and every profile with the same cliche, and with the same grammar mistake is really dumb! It's like putting a signature "I am a scammer". But overall, while dealing with Russian scam, I come to the conclusion that scammers are not very smart people. That's why probably they cannot make it out of poverty in their own country, and stick to scams: the only thing they are good at. Anyway, whenever you see that, it's a scam. You don't even have to check IPs, emails and photos, really! Just run away from it!
BTW, do you want a database with photos? Here is a PERFECT one for you: Google! Just enter in quotes: "I the sociable girl", or "I the cheerful girl", or "I the nice girl", or any combination of those and here you go. Everything returned is a prefect scam database. I bet most of it will be either from Kazan, or Cheboksary, or Yoshkar-Ola, or... the United States.
But sometimes they are not so stupid, and copy the profile descriptions from somebody else's profile, written in a good English. If that happens, half of Mari El starts using and re-using it, like this one for example:
"The main thing about me is probably that I am a purposeful person and always reach my goal and that I am always ready top work hard for it. At the same time I am a very soft person and dreamy.... I like to surround myself with beautiful things, to make coziness always bringing smith special in the atmosphere and in all I do. I always have many friends in my house as I am able to listen to a person and to support him both in his hard times and the happiest moments. I dislike dull and monotonous life and want my life to be exciting and to have great moments of joy. I am fond of surprises and can be a spontaneous person myself though I am never irresponsible. I truly believe in love and want to raise my children in the atmosphere of love and respect on the patterns of their parents."
They may also try to play smartarses and change it a bit, so it sounds more like it was written by a Russian girl, with mistakes. Or maybe they run an English text through their broken translator??
"The main thing about me - it is probable, that I am the purposeful person and always I reach my purpose and that I am always ready top, work hard for this purpose. At the same time I - very much the gentle person and pensive.... I like to surround me with beautiful things to make a cosiness, always bringing to the smith special in an atmosphere and everything, I make. I always have many friends in my house as I am capable to listen to the person and to support him and in his hard times and the happiest moments. I do not love a sad and monotonous life and I want, that my life was fascinating and had the big moments of pleasure. I like surprise and I can be independent the direct person though I am never irresponsible. I really believe in love and I want to lift my children in an atmosphere of love and respect attitudes on samples of attitudes of their parents."
Here is another favorite Mari El quote:
"You can believe me, when I tell you, you've never met a woman quite like me. I am very romantic, kind, calm, devoted woman, who does like home coziness. I enjoy good company, music. I adore literature, ballet, like to dance, to go to the theater and cinema. Like any woman I am fond of talking but at the same time I am a good listener. Marriage for me is a mutual work of two people. I suppose the man should be the head of the family. And the woman duty is to respect his opinion even if it differs. It would be a boring world if we all had the same ideas! I like a smart, honest man, who has a good sense of humor. I would like to meet a man who likes this life, enjoys it, who loves children and does want to have friendly family."
Whenever you read this, just turn around and go!
Tip 2. Enter the sentence from her profile description in quotes in Google. If it returns many results with different names, locations, or even photos, it is obviously a scam.
Tip 3. Another indication of scam: when the girl says in her profile or in the first letter to you that all Russian men drink too much. Like this typical scammy profile description: "I have very bad marriage experience.My husband drinked too much.We divorce. Now i want to find partner not from Russia, because i dont like russia mens of they most drinking ability."
Excuse me, but this is a bunch of bull! First of all, even if everybody around her was indeed a drunkard, why the hell she would put that in her profile?! Besides, not all Russian men are drunkard, but probably those from her own social circle. I am originally from Kiev, Ukraine, and none of my family or friends "drink too much". Now, if I was raised in the US in the trailer park with a drive-by-shooting, yeah, probably all men around me would be the drug addicts. That doesn't speak bad of men in general, but of the girl herself! If this is the kind of friends she has, it's her own problem. If any American girl put in her profile that "she searches for love online because everybody around her is a drug addict" what would you think about such girl?! Another proof that scammers are not smart people. I never saw any normal Russian girl putting something like that in her profile. Anyway, when you see that about Russian men, it is an indication of scam.
Tip 4. From profile description to location. Most of the scam originates from Mari El (the capital city is Yoshkar Ola, or Yoshka), but they very rarely put in their profiles that they are really from Mari El or Yoshkar Ola. In most cases they list other cities. Their favorite 3 are Kazan, Kirov and Cheboksary. Those are small poor cities, located not even in the European part of Russia. But when you look at all those Russian profiles, it seems like most people in Russia live in Kazan, Kirov or Cheboksary! There are two times more online profiles from Kazan than from Moscow for example, with all its millions of population, higher level of life, where people have jobs, have computers at home... Isn't it weird? Every time you see Kazan, Kirov or Cheboksary (not to mention Mari El itself!!), that's a huge red flag! Though they may put any other city, of course.
Another important point I need to make about location. Often scammers put in their profiles that they are from USA or UK. When questioned, they say this is because the dating service doesn't allow registrations from Russia. In most cases, THIS IS A LIE. To check if it is a lie or not, just go to a site's search form. If there is an option "Russia" in the country field, than the registrations from Russia are perfectly allowed. And if a site allows contacts for free, it will definitely allow such contacts from Russians as well. If in doubt, ask administration. There is a small percentage of sites that really don't allow registrations from Russia. But the problem is, the scammers place profiles on soooo many sites that they simply lose track where Russia is OK and where it is not OK, so they just put "USA" or "UK" everywhere, and tell everybody: "the registrations from Russia are not allowed". But the most important thing you should remember: if registrations from Russia are not allowed, the real Russian girl will NOT try to sneak in anyway and lie in her profile. For example, if it is a UK site for UK people only, the real Russian girl will just turn around and go. She will never lie that she is from UK and register by all means. There are plenty of places where real Russian people are welcomed and can register. Only scammers try to sneak in everywhere, even when the door is closed in front of their nose, they don't care, and mass-mail, hoping to catch their gullible fish! The bottom line: if a Russian girl puts in her profile that she is from US or UK, this is a 100% scam. ESPECIALLY on the sites they are not allowed.
Tip 5. Another indication of scam is mass-mailing everybody on the site. With all my experience as a dating webmaster who sees everything behind the scene what others don't see, I can tell you: only scammers mass-mail everybody, without even looking at profiles. Real people never do it. They may contact 10, 20, even 40 people at once if they are really bored LOL, but they will never sit and mass-mail for hours. I cannot believe that other dating services even permit it! But anyway, how can you, a regular member, tell if she is mass-mailing? If the dating service where you met her has a counter how many times the profile has been viewed, look at it. If she just recently joined and the counter already shows a lot of views, three times more than other pretty girls who joined about the same time, that means she IS mass-mailing everybody, the guys are looking because she mailed them = scam.
Tip 6. Now, the main part: how do you know she is from Mari EL? From her IP address. You can find her IP in the full e-mail headers. I assume you already know how to check the full headers on e-mail. If not, please LEARN!!! You MUST do it, if you don't want to get scammed by Russians. It works much better than any scamlist or database in the world. The Mari El gang literally places hundreds of profiles everyday, with new photos. It may be a fresh scam, not listed on any scamlist, and you will be wasting your time, searching through all those scam databases, browsing through thousands of pretty faces, while all this time the truth was sitting right in front of your nose, in her IP address. Trust me on this.
The IP is located in email headers. Please read here how to find email headers in different email programs and check IP.
If she is a real girl, the result returned for at least one IP found in the full e-mail headers should match the city she says she is from. Make sure you don't confuse her provider with her mailservice. Her mailservice is whatever her e-mail extension is: yandex, rambler, pochta.ru, list.ru, mail.ru, hotmail, yahoo, gmail, etc.. If she says she is from Omsk, Samara, Saint-Petersburg, Kiev, etc... her Internet Service Provider's city should match her city, or at least nearby big city, or at least her country. If it doesn't match, it's highly suspicious, and if I was you I wouldn't write to her. Very simple!
Often they use proxies to hide their IPs. If a girl claims to be from Kazan and her IP says "United states", that doesn't mean she is in the States. That means she is a crook and is trying to obscure her IP and hide her real location. Remember: when IP address doesn't match the claimed location this is a 100% scam.
You may also read about their tacticts and methods.