Thank you Robbie for an interesting story. Here is it:

"I would like to spend my time to warn men of a different type of "scam", If it can be called a scam. I just want to mention that I have been to Russia 1 time, Belarus 2 times and Ukraine 1 time - so, I think I have a very good idea about the whole situation. The following can happen to you: You can start to correspond with a lady. She will never ask for money. Later you can develop a real feeling for her after good correspondence agree to go to meet her where she lives. She may even impress you by helping you to get a Visa by helping to arrange a tourist invitation, and in my case she even paid for that - about $40 You will obviously buy a return ticket for yourself. You will decide in advance that you will stay for 2 or 3 weeks, or whatever you think is needed to make important decisions about you and the lady. You arrive at the airport, and "sweetheart" meets you. Both of you are slightly nervous, but quite impressed with each other (or at least you hope she is impressed with you!) You stay as discussed with her during correspondence - either in a Hotel, apartment or with her. You want to spend much time with her in order to know her very well. You are serious about what you are doing because you know you are not busy to buy a used car - you want to have the best woman in the world - the best for you. If you are disappointed with her, please stop the "bus" immediately. Don't tell yourself: "I have spend so much time and money so far, it just have to work" - just "cut you loss and get out" (I am a stock market trader). It happened to me in Samara Russia. It is 3 hours east of Moscow by plane. I can tell you it is a hell of a disappointment if you travel so far and you discover that this is the "wrong address". The second day I told her that there is no way our relation can work out. If you reach this point, you have some options: 1. Spend the rest of your time like a typical tourist. Go on excursions and do all types of sightseeing. Forget about woman until you return home and tell yourself you will make the best of your remaining time and get the best value for your money. 2. Find out if there is a marriage agency within your reach and check out if there is perhaps someone's profile which impress you. They will arrange a meeting. 3. Change your return flight and go back home. You can be fortunate and be very impressed with the lady and everything can develop as you wished..you fall in love..you are convinced that this lady really loves you..things are getting serious..you may have even meet her parents..she tells you that she want to be with you forever..she agrees to resign her job and "put her whole life in your hands". You are convinced that this is your future wife or 90% sure. You are willing to spend whatever is needed on this "angel". In most cases it would be very difficult for her to "pack up her whole life" and get with you on the first flight. Here is the point where you MUST think what you do and decide and not loose your head: here are some possible facts: 1. You are scheduled to return soon. To change your flight might be possible, but to extend your visa to remain in the country might be very difficult. 2. You realize that "sweetheart" will not be able to go with you on the same flight. 3. You realize that it will take time (depending on which country) for her to get a fianc? visa. If this lady intends to "scam" you with money, she will very well be aware of all the above facts. If it is within your reach, you may even go with her to your country's Embassy and start to make visa arrangements. Okay, it's 2 days before you depart and you already made piece with the fact that she will arrive in your country later. You don't want your "future wife" to be in any need of money while you wait to reunite with her. You decide to open your wallet as wide as you opened your heart! STOP ! Make 200% sure you are convinced what you are doing. This is where I made the most stupid mistake in my life (I have not even made such a stupid mistake with a wrong trade in the stock market!) This happened to me in Kiev in April 2005. This woman had no intention to come to me, but she knew that if she plays the game faultless, I would leave her with money. I left her with $1800. After I arrived home, we had contact, but not often. I expected at least one SMS message from my "future" wife per day - she replied my SMS's , but only a few and much later (maybe she did not want to give me the shock so quickly) She ignored most of my messages and e-mails. Two weeks later I started getting really suspicious and confronted her - I mentioned the money I gave her. She told me that I never gave her any money and that I should leave her alone !!! I could not forgive myself ! Later I was in contact with a lawyer in Ukraine. The problem I had was that I had no proof that I gave her the money, so they could not help me. I was trying to convince her to give me at least $1200 back. She said that if I would try anything to get my money out of her, she would tell the police that I have beat her and that they must arrest me if I get near her. She claimed to have contact with the SBU (the KGB version in Ukraine) Something else which can happened to some innocent men is that the lady might not intent to steal your money, but she can get "cold feet" when it "comes to the push" to pack up and leave. She will tell you eventually with tears (it can be real tears) that she is just to scared to make such a huge step in her life. This is exactly what happened to me before the Kiev incident. (With that round I lost $600) I knew that she did not intend to cheat me. Some advise to men who search for woman in the middle 30's and older (like me): Most of these woman are pretty much "settled" and many have quite good established jobs. Most of them are definitely not desperate to leave their country. (In my opinion the future prospects in Russia is not bad at all. The economical growth is very high. It was already 4% more than a year ago) Many of these "settled" woman would tell themselves: "If the man is extremely rich and my life can dramatically improve in quality, then it might be worth the "risk" the leave, otherwise I just go on with my life because I know what I have". Make very sure about her financial expectations and your financial ability during your correspondence. Don't tell yourself they are all money hunters. At this stage I am still "searching" and corresponding, because I know that there are really good woman in that part of the world. Please don't think they are easy to find, but trust me, there are "Russian angels" without wings. I just wanted to share my experience with others to help you not to make stupid mistakes. Robbie from South Africa"