Well anyway - I said "Spring" and she got back to me much sooner than expected and says she cannot have me over after all because her parents are staying with her until they can get a new apartment. I'm thinking that this is very crowded for a bedsit and surely they'll find a new place before Spring anyway but what-ever: apartments are quite costly in Moscow, I checked.
Instead she suggests that she comes to me and soon ... now I'm thinking hmmm: I was sort of hoping to confirm a few things first. So I have replied that she is welcome but I want to have a video-chat first, and can she send me a verifiable photograph? If she is genuine and honest there can be little to object about - I've send her my updated photo and she can ask for what verification she likes of me.
This should be the acid test.
- She could break it off, in which case it wasn't serious anyway and I'm saved the airfare to Moscow.
- She could ignore the request and ask for money to help with her airfare - in which case it is a con-job.
- She could send the information requested and we will talk - but she still wants help with costs (I'll play that one by ear.)
- She could send the information etc and tell me when he flight will be arriving having got the ticket herself: best case scenario! There is still the back-of-the-mind possibility of an immigration scam but all the really nasty ones will have been disproved in one go.
So... fingers crossed.