It seems the question of possible fraud related to the search for a foreign bride is much more common than it was just two or three years ago. What has changed? Why is there more doubt or suspicion now than in the past? These are valid questions that anyone embarking on a search for a foreign wife should be asking. This article will attempt to shed some light on the subject, while at the same time helping to alert the reader to some possible red flags that they may want to watch for. I would like to preface this article by making the point that the vast, and I do mean the vast, majority of women who join legitimate International Introduction Agencies, are sincere in their search for a mate. Unfortunately, the ones that are involved in unethical behavior tend to attract the most attention, making it more difficult for the thousands of sincere women. We have come up with a list of 10 ways that, if followed, will help protect you from unethical women and/or agencies. The following information is of a general nature, based on our experience and client comments, and is not intended to describe any one particular agency.
1. Use caution with sites/agencies that allow you to post your profile on-line and receive E-mails from apparently interested women, which you must then pay for in order to open. We have received numerous complaints about these types of services. Generally, the services typically work with many smaller Russian/Ukrainian agencies that are normally paid a fee for each E-mail that is opened, and each E-mail sent. Many of the complaining clients claim that the inherent problem with such sites is the built in motivation for the men to open as many letters as possible from the women, the more letters that are opened the more money that these smaller agencies will make. We suggest that, prior to ever using such a service, you call the main agency and ask what safeguards, if any, they have in place to assure you of the legitimacy of the letters and photos being sent from the smaller foreign agencies. You should also insist on the woman's personal contact information, i.e. home address and/or telephone number, after the very first contact so you are not forced to continue paying for each correspondence.
2. You should always beware of any unsolicited E-mails you receive, even if you have posted your profile information on-line with one or more of the services discussed in #1 above. Keep in mind that the vast majority of foreign women in the FSU, Latin America, etc. are not surfing the Internet with a laptop and DSL connection in their home! Most of the women do not have access or have very limited access to the Internet. In the West we want everything instantly, and we want our communication with these women to be instant, a fact which unethical companies can use to their advantage.
3. Beware of women who will not disclose their personal information to you, either address, E-mail, or phone number. Normally they are corresponding through an agency and, for whatever reason, will not disclose their contact info. This usually means that the man must pay for each contact that is made.
4. Beware of women who come on very strong in their first one or two letters, telling you that they love you, want to come see you, etc. etc. Although international dating tends to progress faster than domestic dating, an "I Love You" within the first letter or two may spell trouble.
5. Beware of women who ask for money for any reason whatsoever. You should immediately report these women to the agency. The amount may seem very small, however she may be requesting that same amount from 20 to 100 people.
6. Beware of women who want you to travel, and pay for them to travel, to a neutral place right away to meet them.
7. Beware of women who tell you that they can obtain a tourist visa. They may say they can obtain the visa for a certain amount of money and ask you to send the money (see#6)
8. Beware of women to whom you are writing that seem unavailable to meet you face to face when you are ready to travel. The excuse given might be something to do with some personal matter, a sudden illness of a family member, or numerous emergency scenarios.
9. When dealing with agencies, check their BBB report, ask for references, and ask how much media attention the company has had. These are all good ways to determine if the agency is legitimate.
10. Trust your instincts. One of the main reasons that a small fraction of women and agencies are able to operate unethically is that many men ignore the warning signs. It's not that they are stupid or particularly na´ve; it is because they truly want to believe in what the woman is saying. Whenever there are emotions involved there is a greater risk of fraud. Those emotions can range from love, sorrow, greed, etc, etc. Unfortunately, there are and always will be predators who are willing to capitalize on people who are experiencing one or more of those emotions.
We hope this list has helped, and has given you some insight into some possible problems. Remember, the vast majority of women are sincere and really searching for someone special with whom they can share their life. Please do not look at every foreign woman or every agency with a jaundiced eye. Just keep the points we mentioned above in mind and you should have no problem avoiding unethical women and or agencies. If you have any questions, or experiences of your own that you would like to share, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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