So, how do scammers operate? Unlike Nigerian scammers, Russian scammers don't work from the Internet cafes
. Nigerian scammers mostly rely on chats and IMs, for that purpose an Internet cafe would perfectly do, but Russian scammers mostly operate through e-mail. The Internet cafes with their web-based mail are not appropriate to handle that volume of e-mail correspondence. To handle the load they need a special e-mailing software, like The Bat!
, which cannot be installed in a cafe.
They usually rent an apartment and equip it with computers, something like telemarketers office. They work in groups, usually 5-6 gals or guys per group. The groups work in this "office" in 3 shifts. The duties of the office group is to place profiles and handle correspondence. Sometimes they also make phone calls from the office. Those are usually webcalls, or Skype, which cannot be traced. Every day each scammer sends out about 300 letters.
They may also do a messenger chats with you, but they don't really like it, they consider it a waste of time (their time is money! lol), to get more personal and convincing they prefer phone calls.
The scambaiters with experience are often able to recognize these groups. Each group has its own "pattern" of behavior, for example: the "writer" of one group usually repeats the words, like "that that", "to to" etc.. The funny part is, when this person speaks on the phone she also repeats the words! Probably reads the text from a paper. In another group, they like to name their computers like "Hell", "Demon", "Immortal", etc.. (if you look at their e-mail headers, you can see helo=hell, helo=demon, etc..) One group, if you accuse them of scamming, starts cursing you and becomes very aggressive. Another group is more calm and patient. Also, different groups may use different versions of The Bat! In some groups work mostly guys, sometimes they leave Russian words untranslated and those words are of male gender.
The girls portrayed on the pictures are usually not the ones who work in the office and write you letters. The pictures may be simply stolen, or sometimes the girls on the pictures are real and involved in scams. But still, in most cases, even if they are real, they are NOT the ones who write letters. They simply pose for the pictures and get paid. They also may do pictures on request, like with the personalized signs. Remember that most of the young population of Yoshkar Ola is involved in scams and sympathize THEM, not YOU. Tip: if you want to check a girl, DO NOT ask for a picture with a sign. This can be easily done in a photoshop. Instead, ask for a pic blowing a kiss to you!! This kind of pic they cannot forge so easily, and they really hate it!
Scammers also offer their services to other scammers and newbies, those are scammers-"wholesalers". Scamming is a big industry in Mari El! If you are a scammer, you may occasionally get "offers" on your e-mail from scammers-"wholesalers", just like we get Viagra and cheap-loan-consolidation spam. Here are some example of such "offers"
, so you get an idea how bad it is (note: the originals are sent in Russian, below is my translation for you.)
We offer everything for successful scammers work. If you wish to make more money, or if you are a beginner, than you need our services.
1) Sets of the real women's photos, not listed on any scamlists yet, also the ability to make personalized photos on you
request. One photo set - $25-80.
2) Sets of the letter templates, plus the inserts on different topics, to personalize letters. One set of templates + inserts - $55-120
3) stolen credit cards numbers and stolen paypal accounts to pay on the
dating sites. 1 credit card - $2, 1 paypal account - $15-30
4) services in sending spam to men, up to 1MB, sent to your list of e-mail address. 1 000 000 of e-mails - $150
5) hacking (braking into) any dating service with the purpose of
stealing their database. Price should be discussed personally with
6) calling American men on the phone. Price should be discussed.
7) anonymous pickup money via Western Union or MoneyGram. Price - 15% from the sum.
8) opening of the overseas bank accounts for a direct deposit of money by
men. You will get a credit card with a direct access to that account.
Price - $500
9) database of e-mail addresses that was stolen from singlesnet.com and
other dating sites. Price - 5000 e-mails is $40
Everything else you needs can be discussed, we work fast and guarantee
our quality, have samples of our work to show you. Our contact e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, ICQ
P.S. Don't worry, we got your email from stop-scammers and agencyscams websites.
Or another one
("XXX" are put here for privacy):
We would like to offer you the databases of e-mails stolen from the popular dating sites (Yahoo personals, match.com, etc..). The databases are sorted by countries, cities, genders and ages. Mainly, men from USA, UK, Canada and Australia. (75% men and 25% women). 93% of e-mails are still active, the databases where collected during 11.1.2005. - 1.10.2006. All data is stored in such format:
Marital status: single
tel: 44-152-XXX-XXX 44-771-XXX-XXX
Marital status: divorced
Knowing Yahoo ID, you can see the full info about this person and his photo. We also offer the databases of males and females separately. More detailed info you can get after contacting us at e-mail: email@example.com, ICQ support 321-436-014. We will be glad to answer your questions.
P. S. Attached is the file as an example of our databases.
Yet, another one, even worse:
I am the owner of a site which sells flowers and gifts, with shipping to Russia.
1) Your American buys you gifts through my online store, I don't send the gifts anywhere and we split the money. I will send you Western Union 40% from the total price of gifts that they buy from me. My store accepts credit cards, which is very important.
2) I will tell your American that the gifts were successfully delivered, which will convince him that you are real.
This could be very profitable co-operation, there are many rich Americans who can send you gifts on many hundreds of dollars, but even regular ones will have to pay at least $50-90. If a person buys gifts on $1300, yours will be $600, plus verification that you exist. The practice shows that Americans are always willing to buy gifts.
You can invent birthdays, yours, your Moms, your Grandmas. To encourage them to buy from me, here are the examples:
a) I saw the watch that I always dreamed of on xxx.com, by the way my Birthday is coming.
b) I tried to order you flowers on xxx.com, but unfortunately they only deliver to Russia. They have so many beautiful flowers, I love flowers so much!
c) I saw a teddy bear, wanted to order it for you from xxx.com, but they don't ship to the US, only ship to Russia. Such a beautiful teddy bear, I always wanted to have one.
d) My Mom's birthday is coming, I am going to give her chocolates, and if you wish you can buy her the watch on xxx.com, she always dreamed to have such watch. They ship to Russia and will deliver it right to our door. My Mom will be so glad!
The prices of my gifts:
39$ - 129$ (flowers)
69$ - 139$ (watch)
Champaign - from 20$
toys - from 30$
Your e-mail was taken from agencyscams.com
This also answers a question: "where the hell did she get my e-mail addy from??" When out of the blue you get an e-mail from a pretty Russian girl with "To me of xxx years", now you know where do those criminals get e-mail addresses of men.
Also, since the stolen credit cards they use to pay on the dating services are of American folks, that pretty much explains why do they say in their profiles they are from the US: so the administrators of those sites don't suspect fraud right away! They also use a proxy with IP address that matches the location on the credit card. If you get contacted on a dating service by a pretty girl, whose profile says she is from the US, but her message to you says "Me called Olga, I live in Cheboksary, to me of 25 years", you know why her profile says she is from the US instead of Russia!