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Spot the Scam: 11 Red Flags to Beware of When Dating Abroad

By JD / November 3, 2017

The prospect of traveling to another country to date relationally minded foreign women is an exciting one for many men. But amidst the romance, beauty, and adventure there is a real possibility of getting scammed

Personally I think that by and large these scams are predictable, once you know what to look for. The purpose of this post is to give you exactly that: a list of red flag warnings you can use to date safely on the international scene. 

I divided the red flags into two categories: one for when you're communicating online, and one for when you're dating women in a foreign country. Hope this post helps!

Red flags for internet dating

1) Unsolicited emails or messages that don't make sense

Ever signed up for a dating site and no sooner than you create an account your inbox gets flooded with messages of love and interest? 9 times out of 10 you may not even have your profile picture or information up. This is definitely a red flag.

Woman or bot?

Think about it. What honest woman is going to sit at her computer for hours and pounce on every new blank profile she sees? I don't even think that's humanly possible. Probably what you are dealing with is a bot: a program or app that scammers use to automatically message dating profiles in hopes to hook the user and start a conversation. 

Bots find even find their way into legitimate sites

Bots aren't just a problem on international dating sites, they also show up on more mainstream sites as well. I still even get spammy messages on my Facebook every once and a while. 

Just because you get hit by a bot email doesn't necessarily mean the site your on is bad. However it does probably mean that the profile is bogus and you shouldn't give them the time of day ( I don't care how pretty the girl looks in the profile picture). 

A good dating site will do its best to prevent and suppress dating bots. A bad one won't do anything. 

2) Correspondence feels unnatural 

Ever get a message that says something like "I've missed you so much"; only you've never seen or messaged the woman who sent it? Sometimes this red flag isn't as obvious, and whoever you're corresponding with either a) doesn't answer obvious questions you've asked in your messages, or b) Answers questions you didn't ask. 

If you're talking to a woman who uses English as a second language you're likely to see some hiccups in communication from time to time, but if they are consistent and painfully obvious you're probably talking to a bot or a designated letter writer using a template. 

A Closer Look:

Scott from made a bogus profile on an international dating site and was messaged by bots:

"I logged in using the most outrageous information that I could think of:

Height: 5′ 4″ (163) with a weight of 326 lbs (148 kilos)

Age: 73

I even put that I had a kid born in 1967

I then put down hobbies as group sex and collecting beer cans.

I wrote that I am in a wheelchair and that I have AIDS.

In the “about myself” box I wrote that I had murdered my first wife and I was just released from 30 years in prison.



The pop ups started almost immediately.

Two women popped right up and said:

“Are you busy? Let’s speak,” and another said, “Hi honey Scott, I miss you so much.”

Interesting, we haven’t met before…"

Read the full article here.

3) Woman only wants to communicate on the dating site

If you're writing or chatting with a woman and she insists on only communicating through the dating site, you probably have a PPL scam on your hands.  You shouldn't be using a PPL site in the first place (remember our 4 Commandments of international dating?).

But if for whatever reason you ended up on a such a site, be warned that the reason the woman (or whoever is pretending to be her) wants to keep you on the site is because she gets commission on the fees you pay to send her messages. 

4) Overly romantic or sexual conversations

If things get hot and heavy real fast, or if a random woman you've never talked to is telling you her love for you burns with the passion of a thousand suns that's a red flag.  There's also the "I'm lonely/hurt and hopeful that you will understand me" pitch too. 

If you are thinking with half of your brain you can tell that these kinds of messages aren't natural. Normal people don't fall madly in love with a profile they just stumbled upon on a dating site. 

These types of messages are written by writers who are trying to ensnare the lonely and the desperate.

I actually signed up to one of the most infamous PPL sites (whose name I shall leave unmentioned) just to see what sort of response I would get. I put zero pictures and info on the profile other than my name, age, and where I was from. Below is part of one of the many letters I received almost instantly.

A Closer Look:

An excerpt from a 1st letter I received from a supposed 45 year old Russian woman (mistakes were in the letter)

"Dear *name*, 

Let me tell to you very warm and important words . When I saw your profile I understood thatmy life began only now, I felt that I met my destiny..You will tell me now that I don''''''''t know you ..Yes you are right ,but all these things that I tell you come from my heart and I can not explaine how is it possible...."

I put my age as 28. What normal 45 year old woman is going to fall madly in love with a 28 year old man she knows absolutely nothing about (remember I posted no pictures so she doesn't even know what I look like)? This is the equivalent of getting smacked in the face with a red flag. 

5) Tons of photoshop on profile pictures

If a woman's pictures look like they come out of a model magazine something is probably amiss. Now it's not necessarily wrong if a lady had a professional photo shoot and has a few higher quality type pictures up (slavic women in particular love to do this for fun). 

But if she has no natural photos, and the quality of her pro shots look like something from Maxim then yeah there's a problem.  

A quick look at the power of Photoshop

6) Girl is chatting for long hours, or strange hours (based on her time zone)

Pay attention to the time zone your lady lives in. If she is available or online for live chats every time you log on she's probably getting paid to chat (or someone else is getting paid to chat on her behalf).

 For instance if you're chatting with a girl from Moscow at 7:00PM New York time, you need to realize that in her city it's 3:00AM.  What honest normal woman is going to be online chatting full time at 3:00AM every night? 

Also don't think video chats automatically mean there isn't a scam going on. Women literally get paid to have video chats with men; or worse, scammers prerecord video of a woman and simply type along with the video in real time. 

See how easy it is to make a fake chat video?

7) She asks for money

I don't care if her dad is sick, she needs money for college, the family buffalo died, she needs a plane ticket, she wants to get a visa, she wants to take English classes, or whatever other sob story she tells you. If she asks you for money, run. 

This is the most tell tale sign you're getting played. If she ever asks for money stop talking to her!

Red flags for dating face to face

8) She doesn't remember what you talked about in your email/messages

Many men have shared stories where they communicate with a woman who lives abroad for months; sharing intimate details, life plans, and the like.  Then when they finally come to visit her and they start to reference what they had talked about she either doesn't have a clue or tries to play it off like she knows more than she actually does. 

Your girl doesn't have amnesia. She actually doesn't know what you're talking about.  Whoever you were sending all those messages to wasn't the woman you're now spending time with. You were communicating with a paid writer who pretended to be her. 

9) She insists on a specific translator/sudden need for a translator 

If you've been communicating with a woman online for awhile and then when come to her country she suddenly wants to use only a specific translator, something is up.

First of all there's a whole world of translators, why do you need hers?.  Second, why does she suddenly need a translator if she's been communicating with you just fine online up until now?

She probably has an agreement with an English speaking friend or acquaintance to cut them in on whatever money she can get you to spend on translator fees (which can be something like $30 an hour).

Also if she suddenly needs a translator, maybe that's because she doesn't know English and it wasn't her you were talking with the whole time. 

10) She keeps insisting on particular restaurants, taxis, shops, etc.  

If she keeps emphasizing a particular venue or service, and looses interest if you decide against them, then you probably have a professional dater on your hands. It's not uncommon for local women to cut deals with local businesses or small time scammers. Typically a restaurant or driver will overcharge you and she will receive a kickback. 

If you want to weed out a potential scammer tell her you want to go on a simple date like a walk in the park or downtown. If she's a pro dater she'll get upset or run for the hills. 

11) She asks for money

So this red flag is identical to #7, but I think it's worth repeating. IF SHE ASKS FOR MONEY RUN! Again, I don't care how sad her story is. No self-respecting woman who just met a man she's interested in is going to ask him for money. 

It's not all doom and gloom

International dating might be one of the best decisions you could ever make in your life, but there are some dangers you have to keep an eye out for. That being said, once you know the warning signs and how scams work they loose a lot of their power. 

Use these red flags to help you stay safe and enjoy your dates with the real, beautiful, feminine, and genuine women you do meet. 

As with all the posts about scams here at Foreign Wife Happy Life, I want to leave you with some sites and services that are known for not being scams.

No service is perfect and you'll want to keep your eyes peeled anytime you're dating. But hopefully these services can be the tools you need to get up off your ass and start meeting serious foreign women. 

Recommended dating sites




Asian Dating

Elena's Models

Latin American Cupid

Filipino Cupid

Ukraine Date

Colombian Cupid

China Love Match

Russian Cupid

Dominican Cupid

Recommended agencies

Dream Connections is an American based company started by the American/Ukrainian couple Mark and Ana Davis. Dream connections offers tours in Ukraine, Colombia, and Thailand.

The company is unique in that they function more like an introduction/matchmaking agency than a romance tour agency (which is good because I don't trust most romance tours). 

Each tour has about 15-20 guys and up to (I think) 90 or so local ladies. The company screens both men and women for relational intent and basic background information. 

They also feature a unique system where each man has a personal translator/personal assistant for the trip. The dating starts off with a series of short speed dating sessions after which men are free to contact interested ladies and go on dates apart from the group. 

Diolli is an premium matchmaking agency based in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The site works with male clients on an individual basis. Women are screened and background checked. The agency favors women clients who are college educated and can speak at least one foreign language.

The agency was started by Svetlana Mukha. After working for other international romance companies and witnessing their questionable practice, Svetlana decided to start her own agency in 2008. 

The agency has won recognition and awards in both the matchmaking and international dating industries. 

About the author


Founder of FWHL. When JD's not writing articles he's probably practicing his Russian or trying to play AC/DC on his guitar.

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