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Scam stories

James C.,

Hello to you Mikail!!!!! If your memory is pretty good, you may remember me asking you about a friend that I had been writing to there in Samara for a while. My name is Jim . You, at the time, gave me sound advice. But us males, alot of times, think with the little head and not the big one. I am sure that you know what I mean. Any way, I feel that I owe you both an appology, and also a debt of gratitude.I even wish to beg your forgiveness for my not believing what you were telling me to be the truth, even though I was not prepared to recieve it. Forgive me, Please!! I have been writing to Venera A. for over two years, and it looked as though I may have been in a position to bring her here to be with me. Well, the money dried up, and I haven't heard from her since. There was the possibility that I could have been able to bring her here to be with me. Afterall, we had been writing for quite some time, and I had fallen in love with her beauty. The Russian women just seem to have a beauty not found here in the states.
I must be honest with you, my friend, that my heart was crushed!!!! If, well, never mind. I was just going to ask of you, that if you would happen accross her path, you may mention my name to her, and see what kind of reaction that you may get from her.I just wish that she would write to me. She has my e-mail addresses. But I would suspect that she does not keep a very public profile. If I had not been so deeply infactuated with her, I probably would have taken your advice proptly. But I have been lonely, and grasping onto a 'dream'.
If I would ever have the good fortune of being able to come overseas, I certainly would love to visit the city of Samara, and to personally meet you and your family. It would be my pleasure!!! Keep up the good work over there, and It would be very much a pleasure to hear from you, and to hear how you are doing.
Thank you again, Mikhail, for your help, and your integrity!!!! Your freind in the USA,
Jim C!!!!

From: Chuck A. Subject: Problem With Girl Friend

My name is Charles A. I have been corresponding with one "Marina Gvozdeva" for several months now. I have sent her large amounts of money to cover the costs of delinquent rent, medical bills, an English school , a Visa appliaction among others. She had told me that she had made two trips to Moscow for the purpose of arranging for a Visa to come to America to be with me. Her trips were made on the last two weekends - April, 28 - May1 and May 5-9. I have sent her more money just this morning to cover the expense of getting two signatures from her father and ex-husband stating that she is debt free to them. She has stated that these were the last two documents she would need to get the Visa approved, and the Visa is set to be available on June 30th according to her.

Can you advise me that this is a valid Visa application from this person, and that everything is on the up and up? I have not heard from her since I sent the money this morning, and I know she received my email this morning because I had included instructions for receiving the money.

If there is no record of such a Visa application, I will want to initiate an investigation of Interent fraud with your office and with the Russian embassy here in Atlanta, Georgia, USA - for the purposes of prosecuting the perpetrators of what probably has been an Interet scam in which I have been the victim. I have sent approximately $20,000 and so naturally I will want to try to recover all my money.

The woman involved claimed to live near Samara but all the money transfers I sent were received in Ioshkar Ola - I have verified this with Western Union. I know from researching the Web that this city is a hotbed for Internet Scamming activity.

I hope this is all a mistake and her application is genuine. Perhaps the Internet is down where she is living and that is why I haven't hear from her. If this is the case, I will want to get her address from you and the contact for the Ioshkar Ola police department. She may have fallen prey to danger or even worse as she was to have gone to her father and ex-husband with the money ($3500) I sent today to get the last necessary remaining signatures from these two men to complete her Visa application. She may be in severe peril and need help for her safety!

Please advise. I feel very strongly that IF this is fraud we need to begin an immediate investigation so that I can recover my money. All of it!

All the names involved with my Western Union money transfers are as follows:
Tatyana Kazankina (friend)
Svetlana Verbenko (landlady)
Marina Gvozdeva (girlfriend)
Marina uses the email alias "marina stepina."
Svetlana is "sveta xxx"

Kind regards, Charles A. Georgia, USA

David M., USA:
My marriage had not been going to well so I had posted a Profile on one of the many Dating site to see what was happening in the dating world. I was contacted by a person claiming to be Sveta. After 2 emails of basic vague life situation and philosophy discussion and some photo trading "she" started to profess a profound sudden love for me.... About the 4th or 5th letter "she" began to beg to come to the US to see me...She said she could not live without me... and she asked me to help her with the airfare and wanted me to send her $850 by Western Union and she would come to visit me and do anything I wanted.... Well I have been around the block a few times and if something sounds too good to be true it generally isn't. Thats when I began to research on the net about Her city and... got in touch with small agency in Samara run by Mikhail at http://www.stayinsamara.com/ and hired him to check out Sveta's address and where she worked. For only $12 he did the research and wrote back in 24 hours that I was being scammed...that there was no "Pushkin" street in Samara and that he had a new database of citizens of Samara and she wasn't listed. Mikhail was very helpful and kind and even emailed me several times after that with helpful suggestions.

Scott A., USA:
I hope that any man like myself looking to find a Russian woman is lucky enough to find Mikhail at stayInsamara[at]narod.ru. I found the site while looking for information on Samara while I was immersed in an ongoing email "relationship" with a Samaran woman. Or so I thought! Like many American men I had become disinterested in the constant, unsuccessful relationships with the many insincere and relatively self-centered American women who professed their love, but when time went by, and commitment levels escalated, they were suddenly disinterested in a serious long-term relationship. So, like so many others these days I looked internationally, and settled on Russia as my best chance for a serious, committed, long-term relationship due to the nature of the Russian culture and their women, and to the seemingly favorable numbers of available, attractive and interested women of all ages. Although my communications seemed to be going well, after all, it was only ones and zeroes, and without actual verification of who I was communicating with, it was all potentially unreal. That is where Mikhail's service proved invaluable! From the first communication he was upfront, honest, never judgemental and totally helpful. He never pushed his services on me, nor did he doubt my intentions or try and manipulate the situation to his advantage. In fact he was nothing but courteous, prompt, professional and sympathetic. Yet he did so with a detached professionalism that just wanted to find the truth, and at the same time he was personable in a non-profiteering way. Of course my so-called lady turned out to be non-existent, and I am forever indebted for his efforts on my behalf. He translated my letter, and delivered it with candy and flowers. He also provided information from his local database that gave me my first glimpse of the potential deception. When he found she did not exist at the provided address he befriended the occupants, found out the facts of the situation, and even emailed me digital pictures of the exterior of the apartment. There was then never any doubt in my mind as to the truth of the situation. And while I may now feel embarassed, and taken by this "person", Mikhail's prompt service, courtesy, compassion and professionalism will keep me focused on my goal of finding a Russian lady, and with his continued assistance I will press on with my search for a compatible Samaran woman to hopefully share the rest of my life with. I would rather restrict my search to this region of Russia because I know I have Mikhail's eyes on the ground to look out for my interests, and help with the process. Thank you Mikhail for allowing me to continue my search with confidence, and for the knowledge that my money and time will be spent wisely and with a significant chance of success. I will look forward to finding my lady, coming to Samara, staying with you and your family, and having a successful outcome to my search. You and the services you provide to men in my situation are truly rare in today's hectic and somewhat impersonal world. I was so lucky to find you...Thanks again!

Jim , Rhode Island, USA:
I would first like to say that it is very difficult trying to determine who is real and who is not on the internet. I did not realize there were so many scammers in the Russian lady business. I didn't even know it was a business. I received a letter from a lady named Venera from Samara. She was on Webdate.com. I didn't even have a picture on my profile but she was interested anyway. When I checked her profile she was beautiful "Russianheart". She wasn't movie star beautiful but she was beautiful just the same. I began writing to her and we conversed for 5 weeks. I let her know up front that I didn't fly and I could not have kids. That did not disuade her at all. I asked her for her last name about 3 weeks into conversing with her but I did not get it for another 2 weeks. I got her address and it changed after I questioned her about it. The Christmas/New Year holidays were approaching and I thought it would be nice to send her something. She said she did not want a gift from me. I wanted to send one anyway. I happened to get lucky and find stayinsamara.com and I began a relationship with Mikhail. I felt good having someone that knows her city and had very reasonable prices for his goods and services. I paid Mikhail to investigate my girl to see if she was real. It turns out she did not exist in Samara and her address was an office building. When I confronted Venera about this she became offended that I would believe someone else and said our relationship was ruined by my lack of trust in her. Mikhail had a feeling that she may be a scammer early on because of her actions as I explained them to him. He may have saved me much money and further heartache. I will not stop seeking a relationship with a Russian lady because of their Beauty, Intelligence and cultural up-bringing. I will however limit my search to Samara, Russia because I have a friend there who will look out for me. Thank You Mikhail and I wish you and your family well. You also should know that you have a friend in the United States. Jim Rhode Island, USA