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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 18th January 2002, 20:44
jutka jutka is offline
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Here is a website that I've found for the gentlemen on the lookout for scammers. It has a list of the disreputable agencies, and lists, descriptions, pictures, and sample letters from the individual scammers as well.


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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 18th January 2002, 20:50
jutka jutka is offline
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About the girl from Lugansk:

Was her name Valusha? Because on the site I posted she is listed as a scammer.

Interestingly, the guy who posted about her was named DAVE. Here is one of her letters to him:

"Hi, my lovely David, Thank you for your beautiful letter, my darling. I have a problem now, and you are the only man, who I can share my problem with. I trust you and I love you with all my heart. I got into the difficult situation. As you know I was in the hospital, I spend a lot of money for it, because the treatment is very expensive. I paid 430$ for my treatment. But my salary is very small , last month I earned 80$, and that's why I borrowed 430$ to cover my hospital expenses. But today I met the person, who lent me the money, and he said, that he needs his money back immediately, and I should return them during 48 hours. He demands his money back. I don't know what to do. I am very desperate. My parents saved some money, but it is too little, about 100-110$. Sweetheart, can you borrow me the rest of this sum, 320$? I know it is a great sum of money, but I don't know what to do. I don't ask you to present me this sum, I ask you to borrow. My parents have a small house in the country side, and now they are selling it. As soon as I sell the house, I will return you the money. I promise. But know I need this money, 320$. Can you help me, sweetheart, or not? I am very disappointed about this situation, and it is a shame for me to ask you for money, but I need them very urgently. If you don't help me with the money, I will understand you, because every person has his problem and he should overcome it on his own. But if you decide to help me, can you send the money via Western Union, on the address: Ukraine, Lugansk, on the name of Valentina Mironenko. Please, reply as soon as you can, because I need to know your response very soon, Please, don't leave me alone with my problems, Love you, Kiss you tenderly, Valentina. "

I found it here, it also has pictures of her:


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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 18th January 2002, 21:10
Jasperthecat Jasperthecat is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 48
Unhappy This sounds familar

Hi mindmaster, without wanting to become repetative on this point, I would be a little careful here. The girl I wrote to wrote lovely letters, replied to most of my questions, and seemed to do everything right as far as I could tell. In one letter she called me Anthony which is not my name- I put it down to a translation error as it never happened again. I however met her twice and find it impossible to believe she wrote these letters given the way she was both in Ukraine and here in the UK, and as I wrote before, discrepancies began to appear between what she said and what she had writen. I was in Kiev at the time, but there was a program on the BBC about how there are schools and books on what to write to Western men. I cannot comment on the program and it is not published on the BBC website to my knowledge, but one of my friends heard it and urged caution.I love books and she quoted from a variety of writers, yet when here, claimed never to have read them. OK so perhaps these are quotes that we all use to express our feelings, but I can only go by the person I met and I am still shocked by the differences. I know we all try and accentate our positive points and try and 'impress' the person we are writing to, it is human nature to want to do our best, but there is a fine line between this and just writing what you think that person expects form you with no real feeling for what you write. I can only compare this to my other pen friend who genuinely loves books, she has shown me photos of her visits to where her favourite writers lived and has tried to explain the mysteries of Bulgarkov to me, so I know she writes about what she loves. You can check the site recommended above- it is good, but there are those who are not 'out and out' scammers per se, more just see the opportunity for a few free holidays and lots of presents and relieve you of some cash along the way. I don't think there will vere be a sure fire way of knowing if the person is genuine for sure, you will only know when you meet them. I can email you the name of the woman I met (she has been on the internet again for some time, so I have since discovered !)At the end of the day there is only really one way to find out, just keep your mind open when you get there, and don't be affraid to excuse yourself, if the person turns out to be quite different from her letters. Sorry this is not of much use in your circumstances, but good luck whatever you decide.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 18th January 2002, 22:06
mindmaster mindmaster is offline
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Thanks for the info - I am still looking through it, lots to read. Just wanted to say one thing at this point, I think some of these stories are more about the guy thinking something is fishy when the woman may have been genuine. On the other hand, many are definitely real cons. I sure hope I can figure out mine - sounds like Lugansk is a chancy place, but she is the one I picked after reading so many profiles. At this point I'm starting to think that she was one of the cons and then changed her mind midstream and started to get interested in me - hmmm, I don't think I would go for that if that's the case. But she does dress conservatively, and she says she can forgive a mistake but not a lie - so it seems she is honest. I have been paying $5/letter for translation, which I originally offered to do, she never asked. But the English courses ($400+) and apartment rental ($75/day) seems high for a country where someone makes $40/month - or is this normal?

I guess I'm getting signals both ways...
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 18th January 2002, 22:11
jutka jutka is offline
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$75 PER DAY RENTAL? Where does the girl live, at Hilton?

I'm not sure about the rental market in Ukraine, but I'm pretty sure $75 per day is unreasonable. Irinka will probably know more about this than me though.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 18th January 2002, 22:51
Cotopaxi Cotopaxi is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2001
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Be Very Careful!


The girl I was speaking with from Lugansk never asked for any money and yet turned out to be a scammer. I contacted her as a different person and she sent exact same (auto-generated) emails! The black list website address that was posted in this thread will reveal to you that Lugansk is full of scammers so be very careful. I'm not saying that everyone there is a scammer though. Since, the girl that I was speaking with turned out to be a scammer so I don't have any problems revealing her name. Infact, I'll soon be publishing all this information on the Black List website as well. Her name is Victoria or Vika. There's a fair chance she also goes by the name Irina and Eve. The Agency is called "Agency Journey" and "Heart's Journey".

$75 rental/day does sound too high. You can find websites of private investigators that specialize in background checks in CIS countries. They charge from $100-$500 however, I would hire a private investigator as the last resort when I've done my own investigation such as writing to the girl as a different person, sending/receiving a snail mail to verify her address, talking to her on phone...always give surprise calls...never pre-arrange a call. Ask her what she does on weekends. Maybe, she'll say she's usually home. Give her a few surprise calls early in the morning and late at night especially on weekends, ask questions in emails and then repeat the same questions during phone conversations to match the answers etc. etc.

Good Luck!
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 18th January 2002, 23:08
Irinka Irinka is offline
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OUCH!!!! $75/day

She's either a big fool, or she thinks you are...jeez..
I visit Odessa very often, it's a more expensive city to live in, and most of my friends now (after working all their lives) have pretty luxurious apartments, the most in rent a month, for a 3-bedroom apartment with the Western-style utilities, spacious balcony, good area, is no more than $70-90/month.
Your Sweetie is milking you like a goat!
I remember I rented a hotel room at the "Black Sea" hotel for $20 a night- with shower, TV, balcony, 2 beds, and a phone (I like Spartan conditions while travelling. Only Lux-style rooms are around $75/night, and they have everything from Jacuzzi and free laundry service pick-up to the king-size bed and free cable TV (not mentioning the enormous balcony with comfortable beach chairs LOL)

I don't know what else to say, I have seen this kind of scamming before, you just have to do a little homework...
Do not, EVER use marriage agencies, go to Ukraine with another male friend and have a good time as tourists, look at the stunning architecture, visit museums, opera houses, the most famous Sea Port in Europe...etc.. There are a lot of women everywhere, some working at pizza places, some do the office thing, some lounging with their girlfriends at the countless beautiful cafes and doing homework while sipping on a milk-shake, you'll see them everywhere.
Most Ukrainian women are very friendly and conservative, you would never be bored, but be ready to discuss the arts, politics, ancient and modern history, culture, learning a few Russian words...etc..
Go and have fun, do not concentrate on specifically looking for someone, just be a tourist and make friends, good things happen when you do not expect it.

I'm sorry you ended-up in such a situation, I hope things improve for you next time


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