There she is. The most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen looking into the camera, her emails to you over the past months professing her undying love and now she says she’s ready to take your relationship to the next level. Yet, in the back of your mind, you can’t shake the nagging suspicion that it’s all too good to be true. “No one that young and beautiful could ever really love me like she says she does,” you tell yourself. So, like many others, you search the internet for proof that that your suspicions are founded and that the young lady who claims to love you really has ulterior motives.
Without a doubt, you can likely find negative comments made about any company or organization if you look for it. Just as easily, you can find websites claiming that the moon landing was staged, Elvis is still alive and the Earth is actually flat. Everyone has an opinion and, with the increasing availability of internet access and the ease in setting up a free homepage of your very own, everyone has the ability to share their opinion, unchecked, with the entire world. It does not seem to matter whether the information is truthful or accurate; opinion is paraded as “fact” without any regard to the possible repercussions.
This is true even when it comes to “anti-scam” and “black list” websites, which claim to spread the “truth” about Russian dating and “mail order bride” services. Now, we won’t comment on whether one such list or another is telling the truth; we’ll leave that determination up to you and your own personal experiences. What we can do, however, is share some tips to help you sort out the facts from fiction.
How to Judge a Black List
1. First and foremost, keep in mind that any website which is considered to be an “International Marriage Broker” must obey applicable laws which govern their industry; however the so called “blacklist” websites are not regulated by ANYONE. There are no “official” black list websites or agencies for the international dating and correspondence industry, so any information you see posted to these “black list” websites should be considered the publisher’s subjective opinion. Want to check with a reliable source? While there are none specific to international dating and marriage broker services, there are many official consumer protection organizations which may be trusted, both within the government as well as in the private sector.
2. Trust your own judgment. Ultimately, with a little common sense and objectivity, you are the best judge of what’s really going on. Obviously, if a lady is asking for money or gifts, cease contact and report her to the site’s administrator. Be cautious about giving out your personal information. Be wary if she’s in a rush to meet off the site or too quick in professing her undying love before you get to know one another. While this doesn’t necessarily make her a “scammer” since some people are quick to become emotionally attached to a potential mate, it should raise a red flag. If you are unsure or something doesn’t seem right, contact the administrator for the site you’re using. A trustworthy service will investigate your concerns and discuss them with you, no matter the outcome of their investigation.
3. Accept the fact that very few people do things purely out of altruism. Such people do exist, but most people are motivated by personal gain, whether this is monetary or simply petty revenge. So, when someone offers something to you, ask yourself “what does this person stand to gain if I accept and follow their opinions?”
4. Check which websites have purchased advertising space on a blacklist site, and then compare these sites to the ones who appear on the “approved” or “safe” list. If you only see one or two advertisers and they’re high up on the “safe” list, it is possible the “blacklist” owner is receiving kickbacks from the “approved” website. You should especially be suspicious if links to these sites appear to be part of an affiliate program, where the blacklist publisher receives money in exchange for traffic sent to the linked site.
5. Look closely at reports that come as a result of a failed relationship. Sadly, many women are accused of being “scammers” simply because of a personal dispute. The dissolution of a relationship can be very painful and sometimes, in pain, a man will stretch the truth or even outright lie to make the woman seem much more villainous…and make themselves seem more like the victim. So always take post-breakup reports with a very large grain of salt. If you weren’t there and don’t know either of the people involved personally, it’s impossible to know what REALLY happened when the couple broke up.
6. Watch out for disgruntled, former employees. Keep in mind that, in order for websites and agency offices to keep running, a staff must be employed. Just as in every industry, there will be unfortunate cases in which a staff member’s employment must be involuntarily terminated. This is never a pleasant event, but in rare cases, former employees may seek retribution by making up stories about their former employers.
7. Look for the evidence. Regrettably, many reports of scammers are presented in a “he said, she said” fashion. They are 100% based upon hearsay, rather than objective evidence. When you read through these reports, ask yourself “Where is the evidence?” Is the blacklist’s publisher showing you the email (with headers) and screenshots of the alleged scammer at work…or simply asking you to take their word for it?