Firstly, I should introduce myself. My name is Wayne May and I run a site called ScamSurvivors. We offer free help and advice to people who have been scammed or feel they may be in contact with a scammer. I’ve been dealing with scammers for over 9 years, specialising in romance scammers.

What I’d like to do is explain the most common scam types that come from Ukraine to be found on the dating sites. There are many genuine people looking for love, but there are also people out there whose sole purpose is to try and make easy money from people through lies. There are many different types of scammers on dating sites, but I’ll just talk about the ones that come from Ukraine.

The first type is what we call a translation agency scammer. Scammers from Russia and Ukraine use similar methods technically, but the scams themselves work differently. Both for example use an email program that can automatically send out replies to any emails they receive and can even alter the text to include personal details from the person using macros. The most common program used for this is called The Bat! Russian scammers use photos of pretty ladies, usually stolen from social media sites. Ukrainian scams use photos of beautiful ladies. These are usually stolen photos of models. The scam itself works like this. In their emails, they’ll mention that they don’t speak English and use the services of a translation agency. Partway through the correspondence they’ll claim that they don’t have the money anymore to pay this agency and will ask you to cover the fees for them to continue talking to you. Of course they love you, want to be with you, but need you to pay the agency from this point on. There is no agency. It doesn’t exist. Any money you do send will be collected by the scammer himself, and the prewritten emails will continue. Don’t send money, and the “agency” will write you, telling you how sad the lady is, how she’s been in their office crying because she can no longer afford to talk to the love of her life and how you really need to send them the money. You will never meet this lady. She doesn’t exist outside of the stolen photos and scripted messages you receive.

WayneYou’re most likely to bump into a translation agency scammer on the sites, but there is another type and these will be real. You can even meet them in person. However, their motives aren’t pure. These are the ones we call pro daters. They’ll invite you to meet them in their country, but their interest isn’t in you. All they’re concerned about is getting you to spend as much money as possible on them. They’ll expect expensive gifts, to be taken to the finest restaurants and for you to pay for everything. Taxis to the places you’ll visit will be driven by family members, and you’ll be overcharged for each and every trip you take. She may have a big brother with her to “keep her safe”, and you’ll be expected to provide him with food and drinks too. Every place you visit will charge you above the odds, and she’ll be given a percentage of what you spend by the owner. To these scammers you’re nothing but a dollar amount. Some will sleep with you, but most will give you nothing but a peck on the cheek, under the watchful eye of her older sibling. Once your time with her is over, she’ll wave you off at the airport, go home to freshen up and then come back to the airport to meet her next “suitor”.

Armed with this knowledge, and more that be found at scamsurvivors.com, it is possible to stay safe on dating sites. There is an alternative, and that’s to use a personal matchmaking service such as the one on this site. Now, I fully understand that not everyone can afford this service. It’s more expensive than using a traditional dating site. However, it does offer one major advantage that makes it worth the cost. Dating sites work by creating as large a user base as possible. Scammers will sneak in, people will lie about themselves and their motives. A matchmaking service has a much smaller clientele, so you’re able to get a more personalised experience. People are vetted, their true intentions are revealed and there’s not only a far lower chance of meeting someone undesirable, but also a much higher chance of meeting someone with the same goals and dreams as you. Dating sites provide much more of a gamble compared to a matchmaker. The question is, are you willing to take that gamble over such an important part of your future?