Name: Irina Larionova
Aka: Irina Leonova
Age: Approx. 30
Location: Zaporozhye, Ukraine
Address: Irina Larionova, Ujnoukrainskaya Street, 3/7, Zaporozhye 69000
Phone: +3 809 715 74763 (pay as you go cell phone)
On web sites: unknown
Report: Scammer Details:
Surname: Leonova or Larionova
Postal Address: Irina Larionova
Ujnoukrainskaya Street, 3/7
(Note: This is probably only the address of the apartment she (or they) were trying to rent to me.)
Phone number: +3 809 715 74763 (pay as you go cell phone)
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t know if there was an agency as I could not find her in any of them. Apparently, she just wrote me a letter.
My pseudonym (under which name to publish your story): “Fish Soup In Zaporozhye”
After some nice letters and a few pictures, Irina said e-mail was nice, but she wanted to meet me and invited me to come visit her. She offered to arrange an apartment for me and the transfers to and from DNK airport in Dnieprotrovsk (spelling?). I asked her for pictures of the apartment and maps to the nearest grocery store. She sent a few pictures of the apartment but understandably would not send maps not even hand sketched map of the area. I, however, checked and found an organization based in Sevastapol, Ukraine, that offered me a much better apartment transfers for about half the price. I was also able to pre-pay through PayPal. They provided a very good service to me. The apartment was very nice and had an air conditioner and a very good lock and key and no insects or bugs at all except one little spider.
I tried to get information from Irina on what she planned for us to do and the costs so that I would know what to budget for the trip. I got a rebuff here and was told I should not ask about prices and should just do what she wanted to do regardless. I suppose this was the second or maybe third sign of a scam that I overlooked. The first was that she stated in one of her first letters that she was in the “Tourism” industry and dreamed of traveling abroad. Another sign I suppose was that she wanted me to take her all the way to Berdnyansk. I told her I would not like to make such long trip by car, but as I will explain later I was talked into it.
Well the main part of the story goes like this:
Met Irina and her cousin or “Big Girl Friend” after arrival and bought them some drinks. I thought Irina spoke English, but it turns out she claimed not to be able to. They were very very unhappy that I had not rented the apartment and gotten taxi transfers from them. We went everywhere by taxi of course. Big Girl Friend was along supposedly because Irina could not speak English. We discussed our plans during my visit. First thing was tour around the city of Zaporozhye and take a few pictures of us together in case she decided to come on the Fiance’ Visa. Then we were to go to Kortitsa Island to visit the museum there and tour the model of the Kazak Encampment. That is when she started cozying up to me and holding my hand. She was very likable in person. She preferred a very expensive restaurant that as I remember it charged at least $100 per meal and usually more and would only take cash. While there for the first time and our first dinner together she had a friend named Helen ( phone number +3 -8-095-2244602) come by and try me into paying the equivalent of $320 cash for English lessons for Irina. She also said that Irina very much wanted to go to Berdyansk because she had never been there before and also she had never been to the newly constructed water amusement park before either. She also kept saying that Irina was telling me that she was not interested in my money. Because, of the affection Irina had been showing me, I gave in and agreed to go. The whole trip by taxi cost over $300. The next day she took me on an uninteresting boat ride tour around Kortitsa Island. I paid of course. After the boat ride the same taxi driver and the big girl friend were waiting for us. Facial and other features indicated to me that they were brother and sister. Irina, the girl friend (cousin) and I then went back to the same expensive restaurant. They ordered a big menu (total cost over $165 all I had was country fried steak and French fries and I wasn’t even able to eat it) and the big girl friend also supposedly serving as the translator started telling me how much Irina had enjoyed the trip to Berdyansk. But now, instead of just the $320 English lessons she also wants a computer, DSL connection installation fee, and some accounting software for around $900 and $250 for her international passport. The computer (supposedly $600 at a warehouse for cash only and at a big discount) is initially so that she does not have to go to the internet club all the time and so she can write me more often and so she can send me more pictures of herself and her documents. DSL is needed so that she can get better connection than through phone lines. Apparently a girl friend of hers had received this from an American man and so I suppose she thinks she is entitled as well. I told them I did not come with the cash to purchase all that and offered to purchase the computer with a credit card. She refused that because she said it would cost me more money (as if she cared). As I found out later (because I purchased the English lessons for her), she would have gotten the receipt on the purchase and could have gone back and gotten a refund I suppose. I don’t know if that is what happened with the English lessons or not. She finally said that the computer and DSL were so that her poor Papa would have a way to send e-mail to her when she came to be with me. Big Girl Friend said that would be cheaper than here calling home all the time. Note that Big Girl Friend stated that she had a friend in the U.S. who sent her a CD that she refused because she could not pay the Ukrainian taxes on. Irina kept saying through the translator that she was not after my money. I simply got pissed off and told them I wanted to go back to my apartment and I did not want to have anymore to do with them. But, they talked me into taking Irina to a child amusement games center. We played children’s bowling ball and rode in the bumper cars. She seemed absolutely delightful and held my hand on the way to the center and on the way back. The driver asked me again about the money for English lessons and computer. Irina told me that she felt very comfortable with me and wanted to know how I felt about her. Big Girl Friend showed up again somewhere between there or talked to me on cell phone. She said she would take me to a bank the next day to try and get cash from my credit cards. I agreed thinking that none of my cards would issue cash but unfortunately one (Capital One Card) did give me $400 without even a pin number. Big Girl Friend wanted to play the game of getting a little cash from each card. I was given a handful of very old low denomination Ukrainian bills. Big Girl Friend left but suggested that we go to a historic restaurant that was inexpensive. This restaurant was closed and Irina wanted to go to Japanese restaurant that took credit cards. Big Girl Friend showed up at the Japanese restaurant ordered a big meal for herself and Irina and total bill of lunch was over $165. I would not have had much to eat but Irina thoughtfully gave me some of Big Girl Friend’s sushi and other food. I have never eaten at a Japanese restaurant before and I don’t know how much it costs but it seems very expensive to me. We discussed the Fiance’ Visa Kit that I had given Irina the day before. I asked to see Irina’s passport. Big Girl Friend said that she refused. It seems there was a problem with the address on the passport. Irina was apparently form some unknown city in the Crimea and just recently moved back to Zaporozhye to be with her father (uncle of Big Girl Friend). According to Big Girl Friend there was also a problem with the job Irina had. It appears that a friend had given her a job in a supermarket where she stocked shelves on an as needed basis and the man paid her without paying taxes. In other words he pays her under the table. She makes about the equivalent of $100 per month. Then Big Girl Friend suggested to me that I propose to Irina that I take her to the store and buy her a few things with my credit card. She said Irina was from a very poor family and did not even have any nice shoes. She said she knew that Irina had broken a heel on one of her shoes recently. I made the suggestion buy her a new pair of shoes. Result was the she purchased two (2) pairs of shoes (about $100), perfume and makeup on credit cards and $200 cash for a blouse and denim skirt. I have never purchased items like these before, but $200 for a blouse and a low quality denim skirt seem very high priced to me. I had to get more money from the atm machine and went over limit doing it. Of course poor Irina from a very poor family is very happy now. I get a kiss on the cheek.
Next day Irina is in big hurry and takes me to an uninteresting museum and old castle in a city near by but the drive seems long and of course taxi fee is high but Irina holds my hand the entire trip and is very pleasant most of the time. She is wearing the $200 blouse and skirt and one of the new pair of shoes. Again we go to historic restaurant but it is closed. I want to go to Irish Pub which has good but affordable food and takes credit cards, but Irina has to go back to expensive restaurant that takes only cash. I tell Irina that I need to have enough money to pay for taxi. Irina demands that I go to atm to get more cash. I tell Irina that I am over limit already and that I will be charged an over limit fee and that there is a limit to the amount I can get, but Irina does not care and I am forced to get more cash. Irina orders only chicken salad for herself and chicken salad and fish soup for me. Cost of meal is over $100. Then we go to an uninteresting aquarium and little zoo. Then they take me home to my apartment. I ask if Irina can come up to my apartment for a few minutes. Driver says ten (10) minutes. I gave Irina most of my remaining cash (over $200) and my Etaco Russian-English translator (I paid almost $600 for it) and accessories because she seemed to like it and I thought it would help her with English. I get a few impassionate lip kisses from Irina before she leaves. She now admits that she already knows a little English. I leave the next day.
When I get home I send Irina an e-mail. I also call her later. She is very pleasant to me and I try to speak Russian to her. A few e-mails later she is again asking for the money for a computer, DSL connection and accounting software. It seems that her boss (also her friend) supposes her to be good with accounting. She needs the computer so she can learn accounting so she can have job in America and so it will be easier for her to send me e-mail and her documents and also she thinks it will help her to learn English. I still have not seen any identification on her and I am not sure what her full name is so I tell her to send her documents to me so we can start the visa process and so that I will know that she is sincere about considering marriage. I tell her that when she has completed the English course and we have started the visa process, then I will reconsider her request for a computer, DSL connection and accounting programs. I wait a week before calling her again. Now she seems to speak very good English and she says “Hey, I understand you”.--- Look I need to go to work now.” Same day she writes me a nasty letter calling me stingy and indicating that she did not think she could bear our life together because I am always wanting to economize and I am so stingy. Add up all the money I spent on her. If she does not think that is a lot of money, then what does she a lot of money is? She now says she doesn’t like the electronic translator.
I THINK THAT IF THIS WOMAN IS NOT A SWINDLER THEN SHE IS AT LEAST VERY INSINCERE. ON TOP OF THAT HELEN THE ENGLISH COURSE OWNER/INSTRUCTOR SEEMS TO BE IN ON THE SCAM. FOR ALL I KNOW IRINA SIMPLY TOOK THE RECEIPT SHE RECEIVED BACK AND GOT A FULL OR PARTIAL REFUND ON THE FEE. REMEMBER IRINA WAS SPEAKING VERY GOOD ENGLISH AFTER ONLY TWO(2) WEEKS OF LESSONS. THE COURSE CAN NOT BE THAT GOOD. WHO KNOWS HOW MANY TIMES SHE HAS TAKEN THIS COURSE. I AM ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT IF I HAD PURCHASED THE COMPUTER FOR HER WITH CASH THAT SHE WOULD SIMPLY HAVE RETURNED IT FOR THE MONEY. IF NOT THEN CERTAINLY THE COMPUTER WOULD HAVE BEEN ONLY FOR HER AND HER BIG GIRL FRIEND’S (COUSIN) BENEFIT. ALSO, I AM NOT SURE WHAT I PAID FOR WHEN I PAID FOR IRINA’S INTERNTIONAL PASSPORT. PERHAPS I ACTUALLY PAID FOR HER UTILITY BILL. PERHAPS THE BEST LESSON OR ADVICE IS NOT TO HAVE ANY THING TO DO WITH ZAPOROZHYE, UKRAINE. JUST PUT IT ON YOUR BLACK LIST OF PLACES NOT TO GO. CERTAINLY EVERYPLACE EXCEPT PERHAPS SUPERMARKETS CHARGE TOO MUCH.
LETTERS RECEIVED FROM IRINA AFTER TRIP:
Hello my dear xxxx!
How is your week-end- we have very hot weather. We heard on the radio
about beach party- it lasts all day long- me and my friends gathered
and decided to spend the day on the beach.
On my way to the beach I stopped at book store and bought a very
interesting book - it tells about the power of womans energy. The title
of the book attracted my attention but I did not expect anything
interesting form it- was sure that it would disappoint me.
We came to the beach- there was a stage here- DJ played music- young
people danced in bathing suits. We found a nice place under the tree -
in order not to get sunburn.
I opened the book and just imagine did not manage like two hours flew
like one minute!!!
Friends called me to swim and I said - just a minute- one more page -
one more page: the book consists of 300 pages- I read 140!!!!
It is written in the form of a diary of a Russian Duchess - she
traveled a lot and draw a lot of knowledge form different cultures- it
turns out that a woman masters a lot of energies and she ca develop a lot
of talents - a woman is very flexible and can change - the success and
happiness of a man depend son a woman by his side- this book made
deep impression on me- what want to say is that I want t be such a wise
woman for you- to support you and make you stronger- to help you in
your way to success - to support our faith in yourself, never lose
confidence. On my way home I was thinking that the ideas written in that
diary were so simple but wise at the same- I hope to master this
wisdom within the time and be the best women for you!!!
Kiss you tenderly
Hello my dearest xxxx!
Thank you for your letters!
Thank you for sending smaller photos- I managed to see some- I like
the ones of us together!
I work hard now I attend English lessons and like them a lot- but it
not so easy as I supposed them to me- it means much labor.
I was very pleased to hear your voice!!!!!
My boss supposes me to be very talented in accounting. He says that I
need to start studying for this profession- the course is free but the
practical part includes mastering programs in reality at computer- we
have to pay for these hours. I think it will be excellent for our
future if I aster this profession- I heard that it is very good paid
I want to help you in everything.
I thought about computer- what do you think about it? I will mot have
to [ay for hours at computer- it is very expensive I will master
programs for free myself besides i will be able to write you more
send you photos and get your photos making all paperwork we will need
to stay in touch- it will be hard for me to run to internet club !!!
Beside it will; be a goods practice for my English.
I checked the prices for computers- the average is 600 usd- to get
connected to internet costs 180 usd, accounting programs cost 80 usd.
What do you think about it?
I think of you and me very often-
I think what waits for us in future!!
N I remember your every kiss and my heart lips I long to feel them
thank you for all your letters. i am disappointed with your
greediness and stinginess
i think about us and our future!!!!
you talk about money all the time! it is terrible! i am tired to
bargain like on market!!
hpw can you imagine our life together????
i will come to you without profession, not knowing anything, not
i will not be able to work in your country without legalization of the
so you will economize on buying even pants to me???
electronic translator is bad- it translates wrong
if you want i will send it back to you but do not tell me how much it
costs- it humiliates me!!!!!
stop thinking about yourself only- think of me!!!!
how much internet cafe and letters translation
why do i spend money on everything again?
i refuse in everything myself and you tell me- at last you write me
a letter!!! if i did not write - it means i did not have money
i have a man who does not think of me and is stingy all the time- it
you forgot i have a father who helps me every way he can- and now he
asks me what a man i have in my life who can no cover my expenses
for Internet and translation
as for accounting courses- think about our future
i want us to have good life and i want to help you in everything i
want to have work in your country!!!
and you need to be sure in my sincerity- it is nonsense!!!!
what are you not sure in???
my surname??? what identification do you want to see???
do you want to be sure in my sincerity?
i want to se i do not make mistake planning my future life with such
person like you are!!
Typical e-mail header:
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