(PRWEB) July 22, 2005
Some scam artists would say there is no target more vulnerable than a person looking for love. Now that the Internet has become a more serious matchmaking option for many people, a new breed of hustlers has risen to meet the challenge. On Russian dating sites in particular, these hustlers have become a problem because of the nature of the relationshipsÂmost of the time, American men are being matched with Russian women, who tend to be more traditional and less financially stable, given Russian culture and the economy. The man searching for true love falls prey to a scammer pretending to be a poor, beautiful Russian woman who needs his help.
There are two common forms of fraud on Russian dating sites. The first method is generally performed by a lone scammer. She (or he) registers on the web site as a Russian woman looking for love and begins writing to men on the site. When she has established a "relationship," she asks for money to get a visa so that she may visit the man. She receives the money, and promptly sends a letter stating that she has some personal problems and will contact him soon. Then she disappears. The second method involves a travel agency, and targets the man who decides to visit the woman in Russia. The scammer recommends an agency for him to use, and after he sends the money in, she and the agency both vanish.
Battling the scammers is difficult, according to Olga Agady, co-proprietor of Singles-Space.com, because as soon as they recognize that they are flagged as scammers, they re-register with the sites under new names, with alternate credentials and photos. On the most basic level, Âwe encourage our members to report any suspicious correspondence or questionable profile,Â says Agady. But the proprietors also know that deleting profiles will only alert the scammers and cause them to re-register, making them more difficult to find. To combat this problem, Singles-Space.com has invented several methods of unearthing scammers and blocking their progress. The site flags the fraudulent users in the database and prevents them from communicating with other users without alerting them to the block. They will no longer be able to:
- upgrade their membership
- send a letter to or receive a letter from another member
- have their profile appear in the search results
"Basically, the scammer is cut off any opportunity to correspond with anyone," Agady states, "but she (or he) is still sure that she can, because when a scammer tries to send a message, she gets a reply that the message has been sent, but the message is deleted or logged for tracking purposes instead."
Their system, according to Agady, also tracks the IP addresses of scammers, and notes the pattern of their profiles and written correspondence. If a scammer tries to re-register with a new username, and the system recognizes the pattern, the scammerÂs new profile is flagged, and the system locks her out. The registration proceeds as expected on the surface, and the scammer even gets a message that the registration was successful, but in reality, the registration is not saved in the database, and this person cannot log into the system. These aggressive and in-depth methods work because the scammers will be unaware that they are blocked, and will consider the "market" not to be worth their time and effort when no responses are forthcoming. They will move on, and the site will be safer for it.
Singles-Space.com is committed to protecting its patrons and fostering a secure environment that allows real relationships to grow.
To learn more about this pioneering web site, go to http://www.singles-space.com
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