Relationships FAQ: “How can I make sure the Russian girl I am writing to is real?”

A few years ago, I received a service request from a Canadian man (let me call him Jacob here), who needed to find a local phone number or any other contact information of a Ukrainian woman, with whom he had been corresponding for nearly half a year, and who suddenly stopped writing to him. Because I am native to Russian/Ukrainian cultures and languages, it was quite obvious that I had a better potential to find that information for him. Jacob asked me to do a simple thing: send her a phone message or a postcard, saying that he was worried about her because she had stopped comunicating with him quite abruptly and without any notice.

russian-scammer-girl

I spent a few hours making calls and searching through local directories and found four women with the same name, but soon I faced a kind of a dead end, because none of them was even close in the age, occupation, or appearance to the woman I was looking for. Well, Jacob provided me with more information, which he could collect from their correspondence (my, that was not much, taking that they had been dating online on daily basis for half of a year!), and after a few more days of really Sherlock-Holmish research I managed to find information, which undoubtedly proved the fact: the woman Jacob had been corresponding with was – attention here, please – a 20-year-old MALE student of a local university’s Department of history!

No need to say, Jacob was shocked. Then he grew indignant, then – revengeful, then – depressed. There was no way to return him the wasted time, effort, and emotional loss he had gone through due to that situation. It took Jacob months to overcome the stress and I don’t think he will ever again return to the idea of dating a woman online.

I am sorry to say that Jacob’s story is not unique: it repeats in different variations quite often, despite numerous warnings from experts, related companies, and casual witnesses. How can one avoid being scammed like Jacob? What are the red lights showing that your new online friend may not be the one who he/she claims to be? Here are a few signs which I picked up through years of olnine communication:

  • your online friend tends to ask you a lot f questions, but hardly shares any facts about his/her life;
  • their information is available only in one resourse on the Internet – the one you are using, and no search provides you any proofs of the information the person has shared with you;
  • they are reluctant to share their photos: doesn’t it look odd when a beautiful woman is unwilling to share her photos? She may have some explanations why not, but still- this is quite unbelievable, isn’t it?
  • they appear and disappear online quite unexpectedly, their behavior is a bit erratic, and you never know when they will turn up online;
  • they often tell you they are very busy, so you cannot count on regular communication with them;
  • they complain a lot, it looks like their life is full of difficulties which they have to overcome on daily basis;
  • they find lots of reasons why they can’t have video (or even voice) conferences with you, they always prefer to “just type”;
  • their reasoning may sound illogical or inconsistent at times, yet you can’t get rid of a feeling that they have quite a practical look on things;
  • they never let you meet their friends or families; they try to convince you that your communication is a precious, intimate, one-on-one exchange, which they would not want to violate by anybody else’s presence;
  • after weeks (months) of communication, when you feel quite close to each other, they still don’t put much effort in trying to meet you in person;
  • they love dreaming about the beautiful future with you, but when it comes to action, you are the only one who takes every initiative.

I just realized that I could go on with the list, but I believe the above items are quite enough for a clear-headed person to suspect that their communication is a bit one-sided. Do be careful with your online communication; try not to grow emotional about anybody until you know for sure who is the real person behind that charming avatar. If you have any questions, suggestions, or stories to share, you are welcome to leave them in the comments or to contact me via the contact page on this site.

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