our everyday life

International Dating & Marriage Scams

by Sally Nash

International dating and marriage scams have mushroomed in recent years, helped by the popularity and global nature of the Internet. Criminals prey on lonely people seeking romance in their lives.

Identification

The most common type of dating and marriage scam is known as the Russian Brides scam. Scammers post photos of attractive Russian women -- many of these are of actresses or beauty-pageant winners -- to attract men. A man typically corresponds with or emails the woman, and after some time, she asks for money, possibly to cover a visa or travel expenses -- or even for a sick relative.

Misconceptions

Sometimes men who think they are communicating with a beautiful woman are, in fact, liaising with a "marriage" agency. Many of these agencies originate from Russia or the Ukraine, but one widely reported scam was run from the U.S.

Expert Insight

Immigrants, who are desperate to remain in countries such as the United Kingdom, fall prey to scammers who purport to act as "marriage fixers," supplying brides from countries such as Slovakia, say police. In the United Kingdom, police intercepted an international scam where Nigerians paid to marry fake European brides in order to remain in the country.

About the Author

Based on the south coast of the U.K., Sally Nash has been writing since 1988. Her articles have appeared in everything from "Hairdressers Journal" to "Optician." She has also been published in national newspapers such as the "Financial Times." Nash holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Photo Credits

  • The nice Russian girl in black blouse image by Andrey Andreev from Fotolia.com