Hello. We are the producers of Scam city (You can check it on youtube if you don't know the show). For season 3 we will visit Odessa Ukraine.
Our show is about falling into the scamming traps in different cities so people can learn and avoid them.
We created profiles for Connor Woodman on different Ukrainian bride sites and we are looking to get lured by a scammer into a trap.
We will be shooting in Odessa in Early February .
We would like to know the following:
-What kind of scam can we expect?
-Does anybody know a scammer in Odessa or operating in Odessa?
-What is the role of an agency versus the model in a scamming?
-Who on this site has been scammed and is willing to discuss it?
-What kind of profile attract scammers?
ScamCity - I think you just need to throw the bait out there and scammers will come.
But I think you are thinking more along the lines of professional daters? They are those who meet their victims in person then rape them financially. The Ukrainians have a word for it. Dynamo. "I dynamoed him".
I am reminded of the Australian guy who went to Odessa. His 'date' made him take her shopping. He hadn't been around women too much in Australia so he turned to jello and bought her everything she wanted. He spent $5000 on her on one shopping spree.
The next day she just disappeared and he couldn't reach her at all.
Is this the kind of scam story you're looking for? I am sure there are plenty of them.
Just to clarify what we are not considering scam.
Anything that is legal in the local country is not consider a scam.
1- If you create a profile on a site promoting bride and marriage that means you are open for solicitation. Sending you 1000 letters are not illegal even if they are fake. Its the same as this board anybody could pretend to be whoever they are and its not illegal.
2- If you send money to a lady lets say in Ukraine via Western Union or other means because she ask . and for some reason you discover she had a boyfriend and lying to you . Its not a scam , its legal you have been cheated thats all. If your wife ask you for 100$ to buy grocery and she use it to go out with her secret lover , she is not scamming you she is cheating on you.
3- If a lady use an agency to represent her in a profile partially or completely, its not a scam. Even if you are talking to an agent instead of her its not illegal. There is an agreement between the two parties. Thats the same case of a headhunter calling you and pretending to discuss with you about a job he has without mentioning he is a headhunter not the company.
4- If you contract an agency for a package to visit your lady and it includes limousine, apartment, translator etc.. even if she doesn't show up, if the prices you paid are close to market values then its not a scam.
5- If you book a date with a lady and she doesnt show up, we do not consider that a scam. Nothing illegal in this. Eventhough she was not even aware of your presence.
6- If you spent a lot of money on a lady and she goes out with other guy or dump you, that is not a scam. Eventhough she got you all wind up. If we would consider alll people that do that in our societies a lot of us would be scammers.
What is consider as a scam
1- If a lady or an agency ask you for credit card or money for deposit on a reservation of something and they use it for themselves, this fraud.
2- If an agency does not deliver on the apartment quality level or transportation or other infrastructure you paid for thats a scam. NOTE; Sometimes the same two seats side by side on an airplane have have big difference on prices so be aware that pricing vary based on supply and demand.
3- If you get physically or mentally threaten because you touch a lady and it was a set up thats a scam
4- If you sleep with a lady and the next morning , cops show up at the door of your room with an accusation of rape if you don't pay a certain amount, that's a scam
5- If on a specific encounter with the lady or infrastructure provided by the agency you end up being robbed , thats probably a scam
6- If you have sex with the lady and there is picture taken or videos it could be a scam
Now many guys, claimed being scammed by Russian beauty who married them and left them for a younger guy or richer guy.
We tracked down two Ukrainian lady who are now in Us and one in Canada. According to the description by their husbands ( should say ex husbands) they were the slam dunk cases of a scammer.
After interviewing these two ladies that doesn't know each other and their stories happened in different time, all our production crews specially the women , sided with the Ukrainian ladies. So we decided not to place itin the scam category but relationship that were bad from the beginning. If it interest people , i can share their stories.
That being said if you claim a scam and are ready to go through your accusation, we don't mind interviewing you specially if the lady is from Odessa. We will track down the lady or the agency and interview them about their side of the exchanges.
When we did the experience for the show Scam City Bogota in Colombia , we couldn't find one real bride scam. We found a lot of other scary scam such as Blackwidow but not dating or bride scam. What we found was a lot t of deception , cheating , lying , emotional roller coaster but nothing that fall in the category of scam.
This seems to define a scam that is along the line of the 419 Nigerian scam scenario. For example, having you send by Western Union money (or provide your banking account information) so that so-called millions can be taken out of the country through your bank account. The whole thing does not exist at all, so it is a scam. In dating, there is no guarantee of success of your goal. So you could deduce that in dating any person, there is no such thing as a scam. If it was your intent to "buy" a foreign mate, then better for you to deal with a human trafficker in order to get one. Since relationships can change over time, then all divorces are not scams. Technically, the definition of a scam that you are implying here is one where a specified set of goods was not delivered as promised or you are "set up".
In that case, when a car repairman replaces your engine when it operates fine before, has not scammed you because he replaced the engine and delivered the goods.
With all due respect ScamCity you need to refer to the English Oxford Dictionary.
A scam is a dushonest and/or insincere scheme, a deception, a wrongful fraud for personal gain.
99% of scams are not illegal, they are dishonest deceptions and to be dishonest, to deceive, to lie, is not normally a criminal offence.
If you're looking for illegal acts by online or local girls then you're going to need to look far and wide and, even then, be lucky to catch one because what they do is within the law and they know it.
English oxford dictionary may apply on this board but does not apply in the courthouse of any country.
In our episode ScamCity Las Vegas we encounter strip dancers who are collecting thousands of dollars per month from boyfriends from Dubai, Hong Kong , Abu Dhabi ,Doha Tokyo etc..
One , was receiving $12k per month from her 7 boyfriends all international funds transfer. She even hire her sister to handle emails, text and different phone to deal with her boyfriends.
When we met the Nevada authority and ask if it was illegal what she was doing the answer was NO. When we ask if it was a scam the answer was NO. When we ask if they had any intention to do something about this , they start laughing and said NO. One of the answer was , good for her, she should get a medal.
There is a big difference about ethics and Justice. People can be unethical within the limit of the law.
Also and more importantly for you , people can be unethical for you but they are perfectly fine in their culture. A father sending is 18 years old daughter to work as a prostitute in a bar might totally unethical for you but is totally acceptable in Thailand.
My point is before labeling people, groups or organizations as scammer we have to be sure that they are breaking their own laws.
Getting your british or american boy ego blast in pieces by a young 25 years old girl is not enough for us to call them scammer. Now on this site you call them whatever you want.
Thanks for your story. I didnt reply right away because i ask my crew to check if that would qualify.
The conclusion is no. Runaway bride are not illegal they happen in any country .
We saw a case where a guy from Germany bought a brand new BMW to his girlfriend in Sao Paolo .
She sold it the next day and took off with the cash. When we ask the authority to look into the case, they conclude no foul play. The car was under her name , she didnt need his signature for anything so she could do whatever she wants.
No case from the authority. So we were able to track down the girl and when we ask her why she did that, she said that on his last trip , she sent some of her friends to test him in a bar. He paid and slept with the girls. At that time she decided to clean him up.
I would agree that it is totally unethical but its still legal
as svenden has mentioned odessa, I too went to a foreign affair social in 2005,it is difficult to sort through the genuine and scam ladies that appear there,but I did a background check on 2 of the ladies I dated from that social in odessa and both were working as escorts.
I heard one of the companies, and I don't know if it was AFA or another one, but they were running sex tours and marriage tours simultaneously. The ladies in the marriage database were the same ones for the sex tours. So they just used them interchangeably. So yeah, a guy spends $5000-$6000 on one of these tours looking for a wife only to find prostitutes I'd imagine he'd be pretty pissed. You could probably find a mix of the same number of sincere girls though. It is a numbers game even in 'tours'.
Just wanted to thank you for sending us informations about contacts and potential scammers or victims. I also thanks people who refer other contacts in other cities, im sure they could be very valuable but we have to narrow it down to Odessa.
Our host (Connor) created profiles in different sites that were identified as full of scammers. Just to give few names : charmingdate.com , find-bride.com and some others including VK, tagged.
Some of the observations so far with a month of engaging in the process for finding a bride.
- So far VK and tagged not very promising no alarm bell.
- The others that are pay per letters are the promising one. Of course, our host got flooded with letters of supermodel.
-We already burned more then $5000 in credits of all kind for chatting, letters , gifts etc...
-When we revealed who we were and what we were doing to one girl, the letters and contact stopped from 4 other girls at the same time. We tried to contact them but no answer anymore.
-We started to ask for meeting with some girls and were told it was too early .
-On find bride we bought contact informations for two of our girls, we tried the phone , texting no answer. Email in Russian is still without reply
-Coming in 3 weeks , 3 girls as put us in contact with an agency in Odessa that will take care of our meeting with them , accommodation , transportation and translation.We are still waiting pricing information.
-None of the girls or their agent have accepted our invitation for an interview
-Tree girls seems genuine. They works at Azuma restaurant in Odessa. Their VK page checks out, the facebook page of the restaurant confirm them and everything they said so far has been validated. We will tell them our true identity before going in and ask for interview.
-We use tineye to track fake pictures (from model, porn or escort). As soon you confront the girl with a fake picture her profile gets change.
In our research in preparation of the visit. we track down ex-agency employees that use charmingdates and other sites. We have two agencies who runs legitimate agency. We have girls that runs their own profiles on many websites but never meet. We have girls that provide rights to use their pictures and personal information but never know where they use. We have girls who pretend to want to meet western men for real. We have two coffee shop who runs bride website and one photograph who builds portfolio for models.
We also have mens who are claiming to be victim of scammers.
What about Anastasia???? So many speak so 'highly' of this site!! ))
I am interested in your findings ScamCity, I know Odesa very well, they got the sincere girls and the 'users' and everything in between, plenty of hookers on Deribasovskya. You should have been around a little over a year ago when an American man was badly beaten and robbed, all set up by girl and her accomplices, yes, girl was from Anastasia. Police did find names of the whole bunch and arrested, not sure what the outcome was.
I do agree with your def of scam........mostly it is the guy's fault for being so foolish. Just part of the game of international dating.....you don't know what from what, the sooner you fill in the blanks the smarter you become.
I look at it as a girl being sincere or insincere.
"When we revealed who we were and what we were doing to one girl, the letters and contact stopped from 4 other girls at the same time. We tried to contact them but no answer anymore."
I have noticed that some of the profiles on this site send me messages with the same exact time and date interval to me. What type of coincidence is that for two ladies sending me messages at the same time?
"Tree girls seems genuine."
I think this is a typo and meant be three.
"We use tineye to track fake pictures."
Tineye is pretty good in finding pictures taken from other sites. But there are "rip off artists" who do not have their photos taken from other sites.
"I get the sense that English is not the first language of the OP (ScamCity)"
We are located in Montreal, french is my first language.Sorry for my mistake but our production and post production crews are full of british.
"Also why the hell would you spend 5K to support these criminal enterprises?"
we don't just investigate we are going through what people would do step by step. That include getting ripped off and robbed if it is what people will experience. If it escalate to drugs or violence (Ex: Prague or Bogota) then we stop. We are using 3 credit cards and none of them are showing different charges that was advertise on the website. Everything spent at this stage was voluntarily.
"These criminal sites will be happy to take your money, but don't want to go on camera"
Nope, you will be surprised to find out how they want to be on camera. Again, what you call scam could be perfectly legal in the local country or authorities don't give a damn about it. The leaders of these underground groups are very proud and the idea to appear on a show who will be available on youtube for viewing in their country is a turn on.
Someone asked about Anastasia. We didn't create a profile because we already have someone inside their process in Ukraine.
A word on the money we are spending
If we need to catch real scammers we need to cast a wide net in a very short time. Getting some girls that get some money from you on Western union is not worth calling that scam.
Also , based on some of the pre-interview we had via skype, it looks like we will have more material about "dumb thing western men do" then real scam.
So far ,definitely real scams in Odessa are happening in real estate, fake euro money and car rental. Brides we still need to find the smoking gun.