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Old 05-21-2019, 10:40 AM
 
10,362 posts, read 8,324,888 times
Reputation: 19087

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A very little digging just led me to https://ukrainianliving.com/ukrainian-brides/, which includes LOTS of information about this scam.

Your friend's experience is standard for this scam - beautiful photo of a beautiful girl, sad backs story, inability to connect once in-country, constant need for $$$, various difficulties with communication and legalities like visas, and so on.

PLEASE bookmark the relevant pages or print them out to show or give to your friend. I am so sorry this happened to him...
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:00 AM
 
Location: NJ
10,535 posts, read 21,202,490 times
Reputation: 8468
So thankful you found this thread and did some checking for the OP! The OP can DM herself all this info to open it when she sees him so that she doesn't have to open the whole thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
The National Ballet of Ukraine, based in Kyiv, had a big US tour in 2018. If this "ballerina" belongs to this very respectable troupe, was she part of this tour?

Ask your friend if he has become interested in Ukrainian ballet as a result of his online connection with this woman - tell him there is a LOT online, and all he needs to do is search for "ballet Ukraine" to bring up lots of websites and other interesting things. If this is presented positively, as in "I expect you already have done this, but what you told me got me interested, and wow, I learned so much about how significant ballet is in Ukraine just by entering "ballet Ukraine", and if you haven't already done the same thing, I wanted to make sure you knew about it".
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
A very little digging just led me to https://ukrainianliving.com/ukrainian-brides/, which includes LOTS of information about this scam.

Your friend's experience is standard for this scam - beautiful photo of a beautiful girl, sad backs story, inability to connect once in-country, constant need for $$$, various difficulties with communication and legalities like visas, and so on.

PLEASE bookmark the relevant pages or print them out to show or give to your friend. I am so sorry this happened to him..
.
Great info! For some reason your link isn't working. OP can try this one to their main page then scroll down till they see How to Find Ukraine Brides

Then scroll down to scammers which brings you to this page - The Ukrainian Brides Scam Gets Pulled on My Friend

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
I have friends in Ukraine, plus a couple of young relatives who joined our family via adoption from Ukraine. Because of them, I continue to advocate for Ukrainian (and other) orphans in "the system".

As for Internet/phone connections, if this young woman is in Kyiv, there should be no issues. Ditto for other Ukrainian cities - I've even Skyped with a friend in Ukraine, with no difficulty. If she is in rural Ukraine, or in the part of Eastern Ukraine occupied by separatists and Russians (unlikely she would go there), problems might be expected - but not in the larger cities. I've also received phone calls from Kyiv which sounded just like domestic calls. No issues at all with email, or posting comments on blogs or other sites connected with my friends in Ukraine.

But here's a suggestion: see if you can find out if this woman claims to volunteer in an orphanage.

Whenever I look at a site dealing with orphanages in Ukraine, I very frequently also get unsolicited and unwanted ads for young Ukrainian women wanting to meet nice American men, complete with photos and brief biographical sketches. Nine times out of ten, these women claim to volunteer in orphanages. If the targeted men don't know much about the orphanage system in Ukraine, this is designed to make the women look potentially maternal, kind and caring and charitable.

On the other hand, there are many decent young women who genuinely are desperate to leave Ukraine - many of these women, or more accurately girls, are young orphanage graduates themselves, with few resources of any kind. But these young women are not likely to be scammers, at least not to the same degree as the woman your friend has supposedly encountered.

"She" may not be a woman at all, of course, just someone who recognizes the vulnerability of men like your friend and deliberately takes advantage of it.

Another point - if this woman is a ballerina, her name should be found elsewhere online, along with the name of her ballet company and perhaps a listing of ballets in which she has performed. There should be additional photos of her connected with her ballet profession online.

Oh, yeah, one more thing: How long was your friend in Ukraine? The Black Sea is quite a distance from Kyiv, and the border east of Occupied Crimea is heavily industrial and regularly attacked by Russia. Not exactly a place for a idyllic weekend at the beach. Ask him for more details about this little seaside resort and charming village, and what cities are close to it and how he traveled there from Kyiv (by train would be the most convincing reply). It may be east of the Crimean Peninsula and still peaceful and charming - but it sounds dubious to me.

Good luck to you - and to your friend.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
The National Ballet of Ukraine, based in Kyiv, had a big US tour in 2018. If this "ballerina" belongs to this very respectable troupe, was she part of this tour?

Ask your friend if he has become interested in Ukrainian ballet as a result of his online connection with this woman - tell him there is a LOT online, and all he needs to do is search for "ballet Ukraine" to bring up lots of websites and other interesting things. If this is presented positively, as in "I expect you already have done this, but what you told me got me interested, and wow, I learned so much about how significant ballet is in Ukraine just by entering "ballet Ukraine", and if you haven't already done the same thing, I wanted to make sure you knew about it".
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
A very little digging just led me to https://ukrainianliving.com/ukrainian-brides/, which includes LOTS of information about this scam.

Your friend's experience is standard for this scam - beautiful photo of a beautiful girl, sad backs story, inability to connect once in-country, constant need for $$$, various difficulties with communication and legalities like visas, and so on.

PLEASE bookmark the relevant pages or print them out to show or give to your friend. I am so sorry this happened to him..
.
Great info!

Last edited by Roselvr; 05-21-2019 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
20,749 posts, read 11,510,404 times
Reputation: 31314
I'm not sure this agency can help with this specific scenario, but I would try contacting Adult Protective Services about potential elder financial abuse, and see if they can assist, or at least suggest any other resources

https://www2.illinois.gov/aging/Prot...reporting.aspx
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:22 PM
 
6,134 posts, read 4,922,961 times
Reputation: 12342
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/20...eart-and-money

The Federal Trade Commission has this interesting blog post. The comments - over 100 pages - by those that have been used and catfished are interesting reading.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
5,634 posts, read 8,610,386 times
Reputation: 6745
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
A very little digging just led me to https://ukrainianliving.com/ukrainian-brides/, which includes LOTS of information about this scam.

Your friend's experience is standard for this scam - beautiful photo of a beautiful girl, sad backs story, inability to connect once in-country, constant need for $$$, various difficulties with communication and legalities like visas, and so on.

PLEASE bookmark the relevant pages or print them out to show or give to your friend. I am so sorry this happened to him...
CraigCraig - thank you for such great info on this and your experience with the Ukraine. I’ll definitely follow your advice and ask John more questions. He did say she was “a top ballerina” and taught at a school so I will see if I can get the name of her troupe/school. I’ll see if I can get the name of her hometown also. I had asked if it was in a dangerous area, near Russian attacks, etc. and he said it was not.

I called John this morning but he did not answer, so I left a text but he hasn’t gotten back to me. He may be teaching today. I‘m hoping he doesn’t sense I’m wanting to ask questions... He did say he wanted to get coffee soon. On the text, I made up an excuse that I wanted to meet for coffee to get some advice on music programs.

Last edited by GoCUBS1; 05-21-2019 at 03:04 PM..
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
5,634 posts, read 8,610,386 times
Reputation: 6745
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliedeee View Post
This is a great resource...
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:14 PM
 
1,907 posts, read 934,603 times
Reputation: 5077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlguy39 View Post
I have someone trying to scam me as I write this. I'm totally aware of how to spot these things. This "woman" writes all this flowery BS about building a future together without even meeting me. I mean, these people really go after desperate men, which I am not one. Its really funny when you call them out on it and they get all defensive. I told this one that no American woman writes crap like this, especially before meeting in person. I'm trying to figure out their angle if its not money. Its not like I'm giving out personal info.
Sure, but why even waste your time when you could be engaging a real, actual woman? Bored?
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:30 PM
 
Location: SoCal again
15,861 posts, read 12,644,871 times
Reputation: 30971
I think it is lovely how concerned you are.

I would probably just meet him, ask a lot of questions, go home and research. Then meet him again and present the facts that it was all a scam. That's IMO the only way he believes you.

And contact all the resources that have been posted above. This scammer needs to be stopped.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:20 PM
 
16,988 posts, read 20,544,936 times
Reputation: 33950
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post
Wow... thank you for the response. This is an interesting angle. I hadnít thought of this. He only showed the one model picture of the woman and had no pictures of Kiev or Ukraine. Just some vague mention of a beautiful village on the Black Sea and speaking Ukrainian, but no real specifics and the story was pretty disconnected.

I thought it was because we were in a loud, crowded restaurant and didnít have time for the whole story, but Iím reevaluating things now... I do think there is a possibility this is a fantasy. He didnít sound/look delusional, but I donít know. I did not express any doubt in his story, so maybe Iíll keep it that way but try to get more details when we meet. I appreciate you bringing this possibility to my attention. I will approach it differently because of the possibility it is not real...
Your friend/acquaintance is being scammed.

I would bring it up once when you meet again about elderly men and women in the US being scammed. Many times from someone in Eastern Europe.

I don't normally watch Dr. Phil but last week caught part of an episode where this exact thing was happening. An elderly widow who showed no signs of dementia was being scammed out several thousand dollars(I believe it was in the six fiugures) by the time his son and DIL got wind of it. The show even tracked down where the woman lived(also much younger and pretty) and no one recognized her photo.

It does happen, I doubt very much it's just a case of him showing you a photo on his phone that he put there, he is being taken for a ride.

It's up to you how you want to handle it, if it was me I would least attempt to inform him of scams like this and if possible try and track down his former wife or adult children and inform them.

At least you know you tried.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:58 PM
 
478 posts, read 138,561 times
Reputation: 1419
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post
Iím not sure if this is the correct forum for this, but I could use some advice...

Last night, my family/friends and I attended a dinner/concert with an acquaintance (letís call him John). John is a retired musician (in his early-mid 70ís I think). I had met John through my kidsí music program about ten years ago, but had not seen him in a few years. I ran into John at an event a few weeks ago and asked him to the concert.

At dinner, John ...
I guess you will know in August if she does in fact exist. Poor guy, probably very lonely for love.
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