When trying to build a relationship trust plays a huge part. This is even truer when you are dealing with women you have never met before and international dating agencies whose aim is to make a profit. It is important that you protect yourself and your money. The following are red flags that can alert you to potential scammers. Be wary if any of these occur in your correspondence with your mail order bride or when dealing with an international marriage agency.
Mail Order Bride Red Flags
- The girl is too eager and wants to move too fast: Marriage is a seriously commitment, if the girl falls in love with you instantly and is constantly trying to make things move quickly rather than trying to get to know you then it is a good indicator that it could be a scammer who wants to run their scam as quickly as possible.
- The girl asks for money: Whether it is for a plane ticket to visit you, for English classes, a family emergency or some other sob story you should be very wary when the subject of sending money comes up. This is the most common scam, with the girl using herself as bait. Once hooked, the girl will constantly come up with reasons for you to send her money and will cease communication once the money runs dry.
- She wants to travel to visit you, rather then you travel to visit her: While this could be legitimate, the reason it’s a red flag is because it creates all sorts of reasons she can ask you for money. Plane tickets, visa issues, travel insurance, emergencies etc. With the man feeling so close to meeting his beauty, the women will often look for reasons for you to send her more money, while stroking your fantasies about all the things you will do once she arrives. Once the money dries up, so do her messages. It is also usually easier for the man to visit the woman, both from a visa and financial standpoint, so it doesn’t make sense for her to visit you.
- Her messages are too impersonal and generic: If she ignores your questions and always uses pet names (“sweetie”, “my love”) then you may be receiving a mass letter the scammer sends to everyone to see who bites. Often times you can literally write anything in your replies and the scammer will continue with the next letter, assuming you will respond based on what they have written previously.
- Your name appears in a different font than the rest: Even if the email appears personal, this can be a sign your name has been pasted into a generic email template.
- The talk quickly turns sexual: If the women instantly starts telling you her sexual fantasies and sends your naked or half naked pictures from the start then you need to consider who motivations. A potential wife you have only recently started talking to is unlikely to do this. This behaviour is much more likely to come from a scammer who wants to cloud your judgement by making you horning and then ask you for money while you are filled with desire.
- The girl sends pictures with every email, they have suspicious filenames: Sending pictures with every email is designed to quickly build your trust and desire as the initial part of the scam. As mentioned aboved the pictures will often become increasingly sexual. Suspicious filenames and often a sign of a lazy scammer who has quickly found images off the internet and attached them straight to the email. Use Google Image Search on all photos of girls you correspond with.
Agency Red Flags
- The same picture is listed with several different agencies, under several different names: Clear sign that a scam is occurring, either by an individual women who signs on with multiple agencies, or with the agencies themselves listing fake profiles and having staff members respond. Use Google Image Search on all photos of girls you talk to to see where else on the internet they pop up.
- Too many extra costs for additional services: While translation services may be legitimate, watch out for all these additional services. Long term membership, translation, forwarding costs all add up and could just be a way to squeeze extra cash from you. Agencies are their to make a profit, use one that is concerned with you getting what you want and not just them getting as much money as possible.
- The agency lacks contact details: A reputable agency at the very least should have a phone number and their own email address. If their email address is from a free domain (gmail or hotmail for example) and they lack basic details like a contact number, address or business number then there is a high chance the agency is a scam.
Mail Order Bride Scams
For additional details on specific scams see the below.