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An online Russian dating scam that Canadian police say has organized crime roots has bilked men of thousands of dollars. Several men report being duped into sending romantic gifts and money to men posing as Russian brides on internet dating sites. According to an investigation by Radio-Canada's La Facture program, the of incidents involving Canadian men is on the rise.
Francis, 29, is a Quebecer who said he was scammed after falling in love with a blond Russian named Irina Gorachkina, whom he found on a dating website. He said they started out exchanging neutral, friendly e-mails.
Francis's e-mail correspondence with Irina grew intimate and after weeks passed was filled with declarations of love such as, "I need you like a fish needs water, like a bird needs wings. I cannot live without you.
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He fell in love and made arrangements for Irina to fly to Montreal. On the day of Irina's scheduled arrival Francis went to the Trudeau International Airport, bought a single rose, and waited. After eight hours, she hadn't walked through the gates, and Francis noticed another man in the arrivals area holding a bouquet of flowers.
He said, 'That's not a joke. The men realized they had been waiting for the same woman, who, as it turned out, did not exist at all.
The experience was humiliating, Francis said. It breaks my heart.
Marriages and divorces
Russian authorities are aware of the problem, said Irinia Zubareva, a spokeswoman with the Russian Interior Ministry. Scam artists — most often men — create sophisticated profiles of Russian women to lure North Americans into online courtships, she told Radio-Canada. According to RCMP and Quebec provincial police, few people have come forward to make official complaints.
But a U. As time passes the schemes are "more advanced, with trained psychologists actually participating," said Damien, who didn't want to reveal his last name because he fears reprisal. Several people are involved in mapping out online courtships, including "planning a different scenario that might take place in a conversation, and then there will be a fork in the road, what to do, and those sort of things," he said.
Damien's website allows people to cross-check their girlfriends' names against a list of names used in past scams.
Russian authorities insist the fraudulent internet sites aren't exclusive to their country, and they have caught some of the criminals. The website russianscamcheck.
Montreal Cyber love lost in Russian bride scam An online Russian dating scam that Canadian police say has organized crime roots has bilked thousands of dollars from some men. Social Sharing.
External Links Russian bride scam watchdog website.