Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dear Skunky XVII -- Russian Bride & Waitress

*Disclaimer: if you are a Russian bride scammer(ess), the following will not make you very happy. If you are a scammer of any kind, the following will not make you very happy. If you are reading this for the first time, and are not sure what to expect herein, it is recommended you have no foods or liquids which can reflexively and involuntarily shoot out of your mouth or nose and onto your keyboard or monitor, within ingestible reach. Failure to abide by these simple suggestions, in the event of an occurrence as herein described, will result in you having to pick food particles out of your keyboard and nose, and it wouldn't have been necessary if you'd paid attention to this Disclaimer*
Ah, love is in the air. A love of money. Mine. And I ain't even got that much, but I digress.
This edition of Dear Skunky thought it would be fun to share, in abbreviation, a Russian bride scam. One I'm abbreviating, because it ran 58 emails (29 exchanges); and one that I knowd to be a scam from the git-go, because (a) the opening email was a text book scam template (b) the photo above holding the sign "Hello my Mel!!!" came from a Russian bride scam data base that I frequent upon receiving an opening scam gambit and (c) the photo above holding the sign "Hello my Jack!!!" came from my Russian bride wannabe.
Notice anything about the two photos? Uh huh.
Dear Skunky didn't play this one with some of the word games he's knowd for; Dear Skunky played this one as love-lorn, lonely and romantic-at-heart, Jack N. Ewehoff. Until the end, that is, when Jack became knowd as a demeaning descriptive of an appendage. Which one, I'm sure you'll figger out on your own.
Like most Russian bride scammers, my scammer has a grasp of English; just not a real good one.
With no further adieu, the opening gambit, received in early July:
From: "Hung Boston" (
Subject: Hi my new friend!
I have seen yours profile and it became very intesting to me to read about you (I'd like to read that profile myself, one day, but I digress and whomever goes on). I see that you want to find yours soulmate and I also want this! I think what to write to you now, and really it is very difficult to write to man only knowing him on a picture (that I'd like to see, too, but she goes on), but you the information on you helped me to understand you and that that you want. I the educated girl, a harmonious body; mine tall 5' 6", my weight 119 pounds, I have blond hair! I ask you to write to me on this email: I would like to send you some pictures myself and I shall be pleased to answer you if you write me. Faithfully, Olga By the way you have beautiful eye (ah, I really wish I could see my so-called profile)!
My first reply was short and bland:
Ms Olga, I was most pleasantly surprised by your email, but I am pleased to respond to you at this address you've requested me to use. Yes, by all means, send me some photos of you (so I can compare 'em on the database) as your description sounds very attractive and alluring (before you start *gagging*, I guarantee I'll get more sentimentally mushy as this scam builds toward fiscal climax). I will be interested to see how harmonious you are, and how we can harmoniously meld the melody here (I couldn't resist at least one smart-ass comment early on).
Looking forward to your reply, Jack.
Her response letter was textbook early form letter, with a brief description of her, her life, her desire for marriage and children somewhere other than in Russia, how Russian men are "rude and always to drunk too much" (her command of English is dubious, and at times downright almost as hard to read as at an inner-city school in Los Angeles), and that she hopes that I am "my dream man for life yes?" (she just made a couple of my ex-gal pals barf with that 'un, but I digress again). The attached photo she started with -- a rather attractive, blue-eyed blonde posing behind a flower vase -- was compared to the Russian scamstress database (containing more than 4,000 entries), and wha la....I found the exact same photo of the same woman, named Katya, who was also holding the sign to "Mel" (pictured above).
*Buzzer* Game on.
The game was played slowly, as I told her about Jack's life as a tool designer for a farm implement manufacturer in NE Iowa, about being an only child with no living relatives now, and as a 35 year old bachelor with no current girl friend since I wouldn't date where I worked (about the only true thing I said to fuel this bait along). Olga's letters became slowly more passionate, more interested in "Jack", and more suggestive that Olga's dream was to come to America and start a new life, even though she'd miss her close-knit family of two parents, a brother, a sister, and two pet cats, Ork and Voda.
"Ork and Voda"...*snicker laugh titter ROAR*.
Gradually -- by early August -- Jack was writing letters to Olga that suggested he was "hooked" on her, with verbiage such as: My darling Olga, you are my daily sunshine, my nightly harvest moon, and the star that lights my heart on it's journey to forever happiness with the love of my life.
Yeah, that line will make some of my readers spew coffee, but Olga -- or whoever she/he/it really was, and counting on me being hooked for the next and crucial stage of this scam -- professed to eat it up, thinking that the scam was proceeding nicely:
my only love Jack, you words to me tingle along to my heart, I feel passion to rise when you writ these words to me, I want strongly to love to make love yes to you, my Jack!
Finally, Olga gets to where she needs to travel from her town Kazan, to Moscow, from where she will fly to our new life together, once she works out the travel details with a travel agency. And she professes up to this point Jack will never ask of money from you to make travel please believe me sincerity is yes to this? Yeah, what she said.
Of course, that changes once she reaches Moscow, and gets a room with a 70 year old widow (Olga's about the 10th bride scammer who follows this template), whose maternal instincts warn me to be care of you until we met and know our love truly to be real. And she'll get back to me in a day or so with details from the travel agency.
As always, the travel agency details are sparse, but come with this closing flourish:
my Jack, I am hope you disapointed not that money is at issue, but travel to Moscow take most of mine all that I have. I can ask not more from my parents they give all they afford to can, and the agency tells me I will need $2,000 USD to make arrangements to come to you. Will this okay be?
But of course:
my darling Olga, let not the money concern you. To have you here by my side, to know that my future is secure with your love to guide me all the rest of my days and nights, this little amount of $2,000 is no problem for me at all! I would spend $10,000 to have your harmonious body next to mine! Tell me how I am to send it, and it is yours, my soon-to-be last love in life!
Okay, y'all can have a minute to recover from whatever reaction that line reflexibly triggered within ya (remember the *Disclaimer*) ... okay, recovered? Good. 'Cuz now it's time to start the messin'....
Before Olga can tell me how to send her the money, I take the photo noted above (the "Hello my Mel" one), send it to her, and ask this:
My love, I wish always to believe in you, and trust you. But I have just received, via an anonymous email, a photo of you holding a sign, to someone named "Mel". And the email says that your real name is Katya, and you do not really mean to come to America. What do you know of this?
Sometimes, this email spells the end of the correspondence, as the scammer knows the game is up; but not with good ol' Olga and his/her handlers. Not when a handy Photoshop program can allegedly save the game (in their minds). I get this note back from Olga, along with the "Hello my Jack!!!" photo above:
My forever love Jack, I do not understand happens and I do not know who to you send what that letter. I have photos on site in Russia and consequent some of them taken by hooligans stolen from me. it is paradox to real that hooligans learn you and me and they try wreck us this way. I the strong girl and to take things to end of road, my only Jack! I think that now youtrust me after this picture yes? I prove that to you I am real! Only yours, Olga
I decide to let Olga briefly believe that she's saved the game:
Darling, yes, I tend to agree that only hooligans would do something like this to disrupt our plans for a future together, and try to sow in my mind that you are not trustworthy. Your response convinces me of this, without a doubt. With love, Jack
Olga then sends me the obligatory Western Union information I need to send her the $2,000, and finishes with this flourish:
my Jack, my only Jack, our love is precious, yes? Now send so I can come to love you all days of my rest in life, and have your love for mine only alone! No to say to hooligans! Yours only, Olga
"Jack" waits a couple of days, and then pees in Olga's borscht:
My former dearest, cherished Olga,
I am terribly sorry about this, for I know that you work hard to erase the doubt from the hooligans, and I know that I do trust your efforts were as sincere as this whole effort has been. But it is simply not fair that I not show you the same level of honesty that you have shown me all along. So I must confess now. I have met someone else, Olga. Someone else from Russia. Maryna is her name. She is over here on a six-month travel visa, and we fell in love at first meeting. As beautiful as your pictures are, in real life, Maryna is stunningly breathtaking, as the attached photo will tell you (it's a picture of an American porn star, used by other Russian scammers to dupe others; two can play ze game, yes?) and is truly my soulmate. It is her that I will marry, and love and cherish for life. Not you.
That has also, in the past, been the end of it. But not just yet with a now faux-anguished Olga:
My only Jack!!! What write to me is this you say? Who is this picture of lady wearing no cover on breasts (I do love her grasp of English) ??? You say to me you love her more? Is this joke? My Jack, please no not to do me to this!! I will come to be yours only forever! Please!
So I send an amusingly persistent Olga this reply:
Email Title: Consolation Prize
Dearest runner-up Olga/Katya,
My bride-to-be, Maryna -- and yes, she does have a healthy chest that she is most proud of, as that photo suggests -- has graciously heard the whole story about you. And with just as much grace as is her wont, Maryna has asked me to invite you to our wedding in October, here in Waterloo, Iowa. While she is very happy to be standing where you were supposed to be, she does feel a bit of guilt over having supplanted you as the love of my life. So she -- in a conciliatory step that I think is as magnanimous as conciliatory steps come -- has extended to you an olive branch, and wants you to share in our day of happiness, by being a flower girl in the wedding party, and then serving refreshments at the reception. We've even picked out a very scanty french maid's outfit for you to wear; we reckon it'll provide eye candy for our male friends, and will probably get you as many hits as a $200-a-night Las Vegas hooker.
Please don't hesitate to RSVP, Olga! We need to make sure the french maid skirt and panties are revealing enough to get 'er done.
My thanks in advance for your anticipated acceptance.
I got back one last email from Olga's email address, but I couldn't read it: it was in the computer's version of, I think, Cyrillic script, and was about one sentence in length. Any guesses as to what it might have said?
;-) Yeah, I would tend to agree with your collective assessments...


Anonymous Anonymous said...


18 September, 2008 08:35  
Blogger jenniferw said...

Yep, they all want to come to America. Barring that eventuality, they'll brokenheartedly accept American money.

18 September, 2008 10:51  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Jennifer: the particular breed I'm getting in email have no intention of coming to America; they just want the money ;) They also shut down their email accounts when compromised, 'cuz I tried to play her again in my role as Jerome "Curly" Howard; but the email bounced.

18 September, 2008 11:16  
Blogger Jack K. said...


My guess would be, that should anyone send the 2 grand there would be another problem requiring more money to resolve, ad infinitum, ad nauseum until the sucker ran out of dough.

They do seem persistent. You would think that they would begin a data base of folks who have baited them so delightfully as you have.

Nah, they're not that smart.

Keep up the good works.

btw, is it possible for you to ratchet back the phrase "but I digress"? I'm beginning to count them and missing some of the finer points of your comments. Thanks.


18 September, 2008 13:16  
Blogger Debbie said...

That's the funniest one yet. You sent her a picture of a topless girl? bwhwhahahaha.

I wonder how many Dear Jacks this girl has? Same picture, just change the name, same email, just change the name.

If these scammers put their efforts into REAL jobs they might have a good income, ha.

18 September, 2008 14:38  
Blogger Little Lamb said...

I wonder if anyone else responds to these the way you do.

18 September, 2008 17:30  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

To think of how hard it was to find one's soul mate before the internet! My how things have changed.

18 September, 2008 23:10  
Blogger Serena said...

I came. I read. I spewed, despite your warning. I'm sure you broke poor Olga's heart.:-)

19 September, 2008 18:56  
Anonymous Leeuna said...

Omg! Skunk you're a baaadd skunk. This is hilarious. I would have loved to seen her/his/its face when he-she-it thought they had been replaced by another scammer.

You do beat all! Keep up the great work.

19 September, 2008 23:49  
Blogger Herb said...

Wow! Thanks for the disclaimer up front because I would have been in big trouble otherwise. The picture of the porn star was hysterical, but inviting her to be a flower girl was priceless. The idea of them creating a database would be scary, but they are all crooks and would never compare notes that way. Besides, even if they were smart enough (Which they obviously aren't because some of them have hit you more than once) I think you would still fox 'em.

20 September, 2008 05:16  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Herb: only way they can ever fox me is to get me to send them authentic 'Merican money.

Ain't a scammer good 'nuff to get 'er done ;)

20 September, 2008 06:27  

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