Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Other Shoe Drops

Email from Natalia today.
She says her travel agent wants 475 euros for fees and visa costs before the 12th of March and what do you know she does not have the money and there is a penalty fee if she doesn't... can I send money?

Well... not before the 12th darling! Anyway, that's very expensive - NZ does not charge Russians for a visitor visa so, apart from Russian travel papers (passport maybe) the fee should have been minimal. There have been a lot of questions anyway - however, as long as she was paying her own way here, they could wait. Hell, she could have been a six-headed gorgon and it would have been OK.

But now the questions demand immediate answer.

You will recall that the only reason I was entertaining the emails at all was that they gave negative results on the basic scam checks? The addy wasn't spoofed, the body text had no hits, and the photo produced only one hit on a Russian dating/facebook thing with consistent information. A quick test showed a human actually reading my emailed replies and checking me out online - so far so good.

After that the inconsistencies add up.

  1. Why did she not finalize my arrangement to send her flowers?
  2. Why not send me the photo I wanted: her outside her apartment in Moscow? (She just ignored this request.)
  3. When the phone call did not work, why not buy a new sim-card - they are 30 or so euros (I checked) and I would have paid for that no problem!

Well - clearly - she is no longer in Moscow, so she can't.
(Her photos were taken in Russia, but they are clearly old.)

Today I did something I should have done at the start - I traced her IP.
Her emails originate on a server in the UK.

More checking: her vkontakte page is no longer visible to the public, but her pictures are now showing up on anti-scam sites like this one. Yep - those are the pics I have all right. I have many more, so I'll have to upload them.

Oh but it gets more interesting - I reran the first pic I tested, the one that had only one hit before? Now it has lots - all for dodgy dating sites and escort agencies - like the ones in the links. You can grab the pic and do your own search if you want. They are actually all the same site dressed to look like different ones.

This sort of thing does make me sad but it was more fun than I thought it would be.
Any women watching and wondering will now know what it takes to get me. ;)

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