Russian Dating Scams

Russian online dating is not always what it appears! Russian dating scams are common.

Whether you have already been scammed, are looking for a Russian wife, not sure about how genuine your email correspondent is, or dealing with a Russian dating agency, you will find helpful information here.

The aim of the people behind the Russian dating scams is to either steal your money through a variety of ways, or marry you, get a green card and then divorce you and then send for her husband/boyfriend who is waiting in Russia.

It preys on men who have dreams, hopes and expectations of finding love, understanding and appreciation in foreign women.

A lot of men feel they have found their true love even though the romance may have only been going a few months.

The woman is wonderful, however she is poor, and desperately needs money. When she asks for help for such things as arranging a trip to meet the love of her life, or to solve a family tragedy, the wallet is opened, and the scam has snared another victim.

How Do the Russian Dating Scams Work?

The scam occurs when a lonely foreign man gets acquainted over the internet with an attractive female from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus etc who then tries to get as much money out of the unsuspecting man as possible.

The money is usually for travelling expenses but the man may also be asked to cash checks, or provide credit card details so that the woman can deposit money to cover travel expenses etc for her to meet the man.

A dating scammer starts by creating a false personal profile with stolen photos from the internet and then joins an online dating agency or chat room. Many online dating sites allow anyone to join for free and often don't screen their members.

The scammer will usually make the first contact and say they are looking for love or a soul mate.

The Russian dating scams usually involve dozens of pre-written letters that the scammers use on the hundreds of replies they receive.

The letter quickly becomes very romantic, flattering and seductive, and within 2-6 weeks the scammer falls in love with the victim! Most of the scammers say it is the first time they have used the Internet to find a man and that they 'feel something special' about this relationship.

Then after the scammer has convinced the victim she is in love with him, she becomes desperate to meet him and commences investigating a visa and travel arrangements. Then she reaffirms her undying love and explains that she has found a way to get a visa and what is involved in the travel.

Some scammers in the Russian bride scams at this point ask for money. The reasons for the money may be for:

russian dating scams
  • Passport, visa, air tickets and travel insurance
  • Emergency medical expenses for her or her family due to illness or accidents
  • Internet cafe expenses, cell phone, marriage agency expenses
  • Monthly agency fees
  • Interpreter's fees because her English is not good enough to truly express her feelings
  • Ransom money/debt to the mafia

It usually starts with small amounts for the visa and then builds up to accommodation to travel to the Embassy for the visa, and then airfares. Some scammers will say they have sold their grandmothers jewellery to pay for the trip but are short of the total amount and need some extra money. If the victim offers to buy the tickets using his credit card, the scammer will say that the tickets may get lost in the mail, or she can get a discounted ticket because a family member works in a travel agency etc.

Another spin with Russian dating scams is to ask the victim for their credit card information so the scammer can deposit funds into the card to assist the victim paying for the airfares [the goal being to steal the credit card details].

Once the scammer has received money for the visa and airfare, they will be bubbly and excited and then a few days later comes the bad news!

Now there is a need for more money - perhaps $2,000 in cash in order to enter the country to show evidence of adequate funds to support them during their stay, or travel insurance of $1,500. Whatever the reason, it will cause disappointment in the victim, and is usually another opportunity for the scammer to profit.

Some scammers involved in the Russian dating scams decide to quit at this point and the victim will never hear from them again. Others decide there may be more money to bleed from the victim and continue with yet further 'bad news' about the scammer who:

  • Was beaten and robbed by a taxi driver on the way to the airport and needs more money for new documents and tickets
  • Was involved in a car accident on the way to the airport and needs money for hospital expenses or surgery
  • Was stopped at the airport and arrested for trying to leave with a painting or artifact that was a gift for her sweetheart - and now she needs money to get out of jail or for bribes

Sooner or later the victim realizes they are a victim of the Russian dating scams and stops sending money.

This page on our website provides more information on Russian dating scams.

What to do for Russian Dating Scams

  • Once the scammer has asked for money, stop further communications with them
  • Report them to the dating site
  • No matter how trustworthy they may seem, DO NOT SEND THEM MONEY
  • If you have sent them money, your chances of getting it back are really zero, but you should report it to the Police, Western Union [if it was used] or Moneygram [if it was used]
  • If you are from the US, you can also visit the Internet Fraud Complaint Center hosted by the FBI at in order to file a complaint. For information on contacting law enforcement officials in Russia, you may try contacting the Russian Embassy in the United States at:

Advice for Russian Dating Scams

  • Enjoy the relationship, but DON'T SEND THEM MONEY OR CREDIT CARD OR BANK DETAILS!!! and then all you will lose is your heart!
  • If you are a US citizen, the Fraud Prevention Unit can verify the authenticity of any U.S. visa via e-mail at In addition, complete and authoritative information on applying for a U.S. visa is available on the Department of State’s webpage on Visa Information for Temporary Visitors.
  • The Russian Detective provides free resources, articles and investigates Russian dating scams

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