Society » Real life stories

Online marriage fraud

By cheating gullible foreigners hoping to marry Russian females, a man from Chelyabinsk became rich (his earnings were estimated up to $800,000).
The inventive 30-year old man from Chelyabinsk found the way to get some dollars from foreigners.  No violence, people will be glad to give their money, and minimum risk: the victims live far from Russia, and they are unlikely to call the law enforcers in the Russian province.

"I live in Chelyabinsk – the city with a cold climate and bandits wandering around the streets. Russia is such a frightening country that I would be eager to come to you as a virgin and give birth to babies from you”, wrote the mysterious "girl" from Chelyabinsk to dozens of e-mail addresses picked up in the Internet. There were different signatures of real women (the swindler’s friends or relatives). However, he did not post their real photos, but selected the pictures of the most beautiful Russian women from the Internet.

The swindler was smart, but too greedy, and his greediness let him down. He was writing too much - to 3,000 foreign men simultaneously.

The swindler’s message hit the target: men abroad responded to the desperate e-mail of the chaste Russian beauty. Long sentimental exchange of letters followed. Foreigners sent gifts to the girls’ mail addresses, and the price of gifts grew as the long-awaited meeting was approaching. To meet the men, the girl asked them for money: first to repair the computer, then to purchase air tickets and pay for visa. Soon $500-1000 was received in Russia via Western Union.  This was the end of the love story of the foreigner and the Russian girl. New e-mail messages were breaking hearts of new single men abroad.

This option of making money was working for 2 years. The swindler explained to the girls whose addresses he was using, that he was working on a new Internet software and received money and gifts as his salary. The girls trusted him, and in addition the man gave them 1,500-2,000 roubles per month for their receiving money orders and parcels for him. The swindler became rich, he purchased 3 vehicles and built a luxury house.

All of a sudden, in June 2001 a cheated Australian fiancй sent online message to the website of President Putin. The Australian asked the authorities to check if the girl paid taxes from her income, he did not know that there was big-scale fraud under the letters of “the woman from Chelyabinsk who mislead me about marriage during our correspondence”. The President Administration passed the e-mail message to the police.

The swindler was not scared of the policemen coming to his place. He claimed his actions had not been a crime.

The policemen confiscated computer, hard currency, jewelry, perfume, toys, collection coins, video- and audiocassettes from the man. His computer database contained information on simultaneous correspondence with 3,000 men! The swindler did not write everybody, those who showed themselves either greedy or smart were not honored with his letters any more. All the rest donated money to him. He had sponsors from Canada, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Australia, New Zealand and other countries all over the world. There were no men from the former USSR – the swindler was concerned that they could have reached him easily.

When the police was investigating the complaint of the Australian, a British timidly posted on the website of Chelyabinsk governor that he had been deprived of more than 1000 pound sterling in the same way.
Russian police had to write many letters abroad, and 9 foreign men agreed to testify against the swindler. According to Russian Criminal Code, he can be imprisoned from 5 to 10 years and have his property confiscated.

The swindler did not say he was sorry, and refused to return the money to foreign men. He probably considered himself a financial genius because he had started playing at international stock exchange online. His Swiss bank account allowed this, and also to become a fiance himself and find a daughter of a millionaire as his bride.