Hi, I’ve been working for CuteOnly.com support team for over than 7 years and I’ve seen
- thousands of scammers
- hundreds of scam reports
- and sadly some victims of scam.
In this post I want to share my experience of recognizing the signs of scam and I hope it will be very helpful.
1. Scammers want to communicate via e-mail (not by Skype, phone or on the website)
I would recommend exchanging phone numbers or Skype before e-mail address.
Most of the scammers won’t give you Skype or phone number but they will keep insisting on getting your e-mail address. They will tell you that they don’t have a cell phone and that they are too shy to see you on Skype. Don’t believe in these fairy tales, and report me at email@example.com so I could check up on her!
2. Scammers tell how much they love you straight in the beginning of correspondence (and nothing about themselves)
I recommend to ask her questions. Real girls will be happy to tell you all about their families, hobbies, friends, favorite places for travel and etc.
In contrast, scammers usually tell you nothing personal except how much they love and miss you. When she tells you that she misses you in her second/third letter – be afraid! In the fourth letter she will start speaking about your first meeting and so on.
That is not how it should be! Planning a meeting is a very serious and critical step. Getting to know each other should start from talking by phone or Skype. Even if her English is not good, you can at least hear her voice or see her face and speak with gestures. You cannot skip this step before planning to meet.
3. Do some investigation
- Find her on Facebook (or vk.com, an alternative site popular in Russia). If you are lucky, you’ll get an access to her pictures, list of friends, places she visited and more. However not having a profile at Facebook is still not a scam sign. You should start worrying only if you find some big differences between her CuteOnly and Facebook profiles (different dates of birth, for example).
- If she already gave you her e-mail don’t hesitate to google it. Blacklisted e-mails are publicly available.
- Propose sending her a postcard and ask her home mailing address. It is a good sign if she gives you the address. And even a better sign if she gives you her correct address (you will have to make sure she receives the card).
- Check if her phone number belongs to the city and country stated in her CuteOnly profile. It will work perfect for stationary phones and mobile too. What you have to do is take first three digits and google them. For example, +380 555555555 is for Ukraine and + 7495 55555555 or +7499 55555555 is for Moscow, Russia. You could use this http://countrycode.org/ for that.
- Ask her to send you a scan of her passport. Not really polite on the first date, so you’ll need a good reason for that such as travel arrangements. Many clients say it makes no sense anyway as passports are in Russian and they wouldn’t understand anything… But in Russia we usually have two passports – one of them is only for internal use (like an ID card), and another on is being used to traveling. All information such as name, forename, place of birth, etc. gets duplicated into English in the traveling passport.
- Ask for the name of the company where she’s working and google it too. Sometimes you can find information about people working in Russia and Ukraine for international companies.
- Tell her you would love to see some pictures from her childhood. Sure, scammers have few stolen photos and no access to the family albums.
Please remember that I am always happy to help you out if you are not sure about something. It’s better to think twice before you make a serious decision. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime!