Is Svetlana Kurmakova the Russian scammer?
She appeared in our database from 2007-03-22
, financial damage US $ 250
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I was contacted by a person through the SingleMe.com dating site by someone claiming to be: Svetlana Kurmakova (Uralsky, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia) Her addresse: Appart 78, House 5 Sovetskaya Street. Uralskiy, Russia 650056
1st E-mail address: [email protected] 2nd E-mail address: [email protected]
She came across as intelligent but somewhat na??ve especially in regards to travel and the Visa process. We communicated on a daily basis from January 19,2004 until I finally caught on that this was a scam for money around March 9, 2004. We had decided in our letters that it would be good to meet and see if our feelings were serious. The requests for money were at three times. First she needed money for the airline ticket, second she need more money because she did not purchase a required round trip ticket, I sent her $750.00 first and another $450.00 second through Western Union to Russia.
A few days before she was to arrive she claimed the NNVA or agency through which she was preparing the Visa had informed her that she was also required to have $750.00 in what was called "pocket money" to be able to come to the USA. I e-mailed the American Embassy in Moscow and asked about this.
The embassys customer service department sent me an answer that there was no such requirement and I also confirmed this with US Customs at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. I first suspected that she was being cheated by some type of agency and kept requesting names and addresss of whom she was dealing with but she would never send the information. I then received a second letter from the American Embassy in Moscow but this letter was from someone in the Fraud Unit and informed me she believed I was involved in a scam and directed me to some anti-scam web sites, I found Svetlana in three different postings by other gentlemen she had attempted to scam.
The letters they had received were identical to the ones I received, only the dating web sites and e-mail addresss were different. Reference is made to family, fathers $40k house, a found 1700 ruble coin, how her friend married through a dating service to a man in Chicago, an urgency to arrive in March because of employment agreements and the mistakes made in the Visa process with a need for money to complete. I also received a very short phone call at work, short because we got cut off after about two sentences. I also recently found her on a talk forum, Greatest Cities.com, a person had posed the question does anyone know Svetlana Kurmakova, there were some 90 replies with one even setting up a web site to expose this person or persons.
I am now under the impression that this is a pretty extensive scam and probably involves more than one person. It is possible that some may even be located in the USA with others located in Russia to enable monies pick up through Western Union. All of the letters are canned and are almost word for word as compared to what others have received. I believe they just post profiles on dating sites, set up multiple aliass and addresss, then systematically contact others who have posted heir profiles looking for bites. Only the first contact is addressed to an individual, after that person responds and sends a letter, they just keep replying to those letters never creating a new letter.
I have all the letters saved on my computer along with about a dozen pictures of someone who I really doubt is Svetlana Kurmakova or if that person actually exists. The only uncertainty I have is how they pick up the money at a Western Union outlet without proper identification. I am more than willing to share any information I have with the authorities to find and prosecute this person or persons. It is a very disgusting and hurtful scam.
My question to you all is: What can be done to pursue these people and bring them to justice?
Thank You. Sincerely, Mark
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