Russian Dating Scams rake in tens of millions of dollars each year from unsuspecting victims.
Most are men. For some reason you don't find many women online looking for love in a rugged, handsome Russian hunk (who is poor and trying to escape to a new land and better life).
With an endless supply of photos of stunning, sexy young women it's no wonder Russian Dating Scams showing phony 'Svetlana's, 'Alena's and 'Sofiya's are breaking hearts and draining bank accounts around the world.
So for all you lonely guys out there hoping to find a soul mate and partner online be warned... don't stumble into a Russian Romance with your eyes wide shut.
The reality is... many of the fraudsters running these Russian Dating Scams are ruthless, ugly, criminals (often men) who hide behind fake pictures of pretty girls.
Some scams are perpetrated by one or two individuals.
Others are run by highly organized crime gangs run along the lines of the Nigerian 419 Scams.
Some gangs have dozens of gang members, each with their own particular skills and duties.
"Organizers" construct fake profiles using phony photos to use as bait. They map out online courtships, write phony scripts about eternal love and needing money (sometimes with trained psychologists helping).
"Executors" troll genuine online dating sites and data-bases to establish contact with potential victims.
Finally, multi-lingual "Communicators" go to work on their prey before the "Money Movers" take care of the scammed money via international money transactions.
Lonely, vulnerable men are seduced by romantic love emails pledging eternal love and gratitude... and sexy, revealing photographs promising sexual pleasures.
Unfortunately, many good-hearted, well-meaning, lonely guys are going to have their hearts ripped out and their wallets lightened.
2004... 40-year-old American Robert McCoy of San Bernardino County was sentenced to 5 years in a Federal Prison for cheating around 350 men out of over $1 million in a Russian Bride Scam.His Russian wife of 2 years (with whom he had a 2 year old daughter) was also convicted of being an accessory for posing as a prospective Russian bride. She received a lighter sentence because she had met McCoy after the scam was up and running and had only played a minor role.
2006...Russian police break up a highly organized internet dating scams group.
It was run out of a dozen rented apartments by over 100 (mostly) male scammers aged 18 to 35 using around 50 computers and cell phones. Three teams would work around the clock in eight hour shifts. Seized records show the scammers were communicating with some 750 victims and were pulling in around $300,000 each month.The scam had taken in $2 million before it was shut down.
2007... Two Russian men convicted of scamming $36,000 from a German male using stolen photos
of Russian ballerina Anastasia Volchkova.
Both were sentenced to 3 years in a labor camp.
The Internet Revolution, Globalization, and the Global Financial Crisis created the perfect storm... Old Business models are being destroyed and jobs are disappearing offshore at an astonishing rate. Analysts warn that "China and India are poised to out-think us and out-compete us by their sheer numbers" and that "there is no job security now".
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Who Ate My Lunch?