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7 Things Your Mail-Order Bride-to-Be Doesn't Want You to Know

Updated on November 05, 2014
These Russian women don't have boyfriends.  They've been saving themselves  for marriage to a fat old guy.
These Russian women don't have boyfriends. They've been saving themselves for marriage to a fat old guy.

So you've taken the plunge and signed up for an Asian / Russian / Ukrainian / Colombian Lady dating site. After years of being rejected by "Western women" you've come to your senses and realized that the only kind of woman who can truly appreciate you is one who's never met you, doesn't speak your language, and lives tens of thousands of miles away. Now's your chance to show all your friends who are married to fat harpies what a real, elegant lady is like. Your fantasy mail-order bride will put all their wives to shame!

But hold up a minute...before you start planning your wedding and putting together the immigration forms, you might want to reflect on what really goes on behind the scenes with foreign bride services. Scams abound and true love is rarer than an honest hooker. Don't say you were never warned!

This ESL teacher traveling around Europe makes extra cash by writing emails for a Ukrainian mail-order bride service.
This ESL teacher traveling around Europe makes extra cash by writing emails for a Ukrainian mail-order bride service.

(1) Your sweet "Svetlana" is a professional pen pal hired by the service to write letters.

Mail order bride sites hire English speakers to exchange correspondence with suckers -- I mean suitors -- living in the US, Canada, UK, and other English-speaking countries. The person who writes the emails and messagaes often isn't the same person who appears in the photos you're sent. In fact, it could be an older married woman who's studied English for many years, or even a man. Sometimes they even hire fluent English speakers working as ESL teachers in the country. (Your true love is a "Western woman" after all!) If a high proportion of a site's dating pool claims to be proficient in English, be wary.


(2) Your sweet "Svetlana" is married or has a boyfriend, but that won't stop her from panhandling.

If the women you're corresponding with asks for money, just assume that the money is going toward her boyfriend's motorcycle repair costs, or to make ends meet because her husband lost his job and the kids are hungry. A lot of women are urged by their boyfriends to sign up for these sites as a way to make extra money for the household.


If it weren't for die-hard Asian fetishists , women like this would have no hope of getting married. Hey, maybe they're beautiful on the inside.
If it weren't for die-hard Asian fetishists , women like this would have no hope of getting married. Hey, maybe they're beautiful on the inside.

(3) Genuine women who resort to dating foreigners online may be deemed undatable by local standards.

If you happen to meet a woman who is real and not currently married or with a boyfriend, there's a good chance she's been rejected by all the local prospects. And you have to wonder why. There's always the possibility that she's simply deemed ugly by her culture's standards, whereas to you she's exotic. Beauty is in the eye of the ethno-fetishist.

Or perhaps she's known as the town scam artist or town whore. Maybe not. Of course many of the foreign women you meet through these sites will tell you that local men are all cheaters and lazy deadbeats. Sometimes this is true and sometimes not.

Do your research to find out why an otherwise decent, educated, normal-looking woman would resort to dating a foreigner long distance. For example, in Eastern Europe and Russia, there are many more available women than men, so infidelity among men is a big problem. But in China the opposite problem exists; there are more available men than women due to the one-child policy and selective abortion. A Russian woman saying all the men in her city are cheaters is credible, but an urban Chinese woman saying the same thing is probably lying. In some cultures, educated women in their late 20s and older are deemed undatable! It's a weird wide world out there.

(4) She wants a Green Card / citizenship.

Some women are upfront about this. She knows you are desperate for companionship and she wants a better life; hey, it's a fair trade. You have to admire a woman who doesn't bullshit you. On the other hand, some women claim gaining citizenship is the furthest thing from their minds and they only want you -- receding hairline and yellow teeth and all.

There's nothing wrong with a transactional relationship, but keep in mind once she reaches her goal, there's nothing to stop her from leaving you but staying in your country to pursue her real interests. Green Card marriages have divorce rates just as high as genuine love marriages.

At long last! You finally get to meet your sweet Svetlana in person.  Hey, where are you going?
At long last! You finally get to meet your sweet Svetlana in person. Hey, where are you going?

(5) The Meeting: She's not the woman in the photo and doesn't speak English.

How many lonely men have invested the time and money to meet their mail-order bride-to-be, only to be duped by the agency arranging the meetings? The woman or women you're presented with isn't among the ones you've been in correspondence with, and you can only communicate through a translator. To avoid getting scammed, try to Skype with your lady friend before meeting, and research the agencies thoroughly to find out which ones are known to bait and switch.

Hello I'm Yuri.  I'll be your driver and translator for this evening.  If you touch Svetlana, they'll never find your body.
Hello I'm Yuri. I'll be your driver and translator for this evening. If you touch Svetlana, they'll never find your body.

(6) The Meeting: Who's this taxi driver / translator fellow who's tagging along?

Another common occurrence when you finally meet your lady pen pal is that she's accompanied by a driver and/or translator who gives you a weird vibe. Who is this guy? The agency says it's standard policy to send a chaperone along with the women when they meet you for the first time. Oh, and you have to pay for his services as well. What the hell is going on?

I'll let you in on the big secret: It's her husband.

Scam agencies not only bait foreigners with unavailable women, but they also hire their husbands or boyfriends for various chaperoning and translating services. Hey, if it was your wife going out with some foreign guy, you'd want to watch out for her too!


(7) She's agreed to your marriage proposal only to get the K1-Fiance(e) Visa.

For residents of certain countries, getting a visitor visa to the US, Canada, UK, etc. is difficult. But if you can claim that you are engaged to be married to a resident, and have evidence of your romantic relationship, then getting a visitor visa is much more likely. And overstaying a visitor visa is a common method of illegal immigration. All too often it happens that a suitor pays for a ticket, only to have his fiancée run off soon after arrival. Sometimes the runaway brides manage to get illegal work and stay, other times their plans fall through and they go back home. In either case, the suitor is merely a means to an end.

How to Reduce Your Chances of Getting Scammed

Signing up for a mail-order bride dating service is the worst way to find true love, but one of the best ways to throw away money and lose your faith in humanity. But there are some ways you can protect yourself.

First, try to get your long-distance girlfriend on Skype. If she resists any kind of video chat meeting, move on.

Second, invest in your own translator to convey messages to her in her own language, rather than rely on the agency's translations. If she's genuine, the thoughtfulness of your gesture will make a positive impression on her. But more importantly, it establishes real two-way communication, because you can never trust what's happening on the other end. With your own translator, you'll find out soon enough if the mail-order bride service is scamming you with non-existent women.

Third, carefully research all the dating sites you do business with. Some of them open and close overnight and change names to avoid their bad reputation from spreading. If you can't find any honest positive reviews about the site, avoid it.

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      Epps 3 years ago

      All these sites are scams. I don't believe hiring a translator and Skyping will help much, but it's good advice all the same.

      If you're dead set on marrying a foreign woman, you have to learn the language and move there. And get realistic expectations about the women who want to marry a foreign guy. It's not a sea of 23-year-old bikini models who've been speaking English since elementary school. More like 33-year-old bank tellers taking English lessons in the evenings. Family is poor, but decent. Hot young babes who speak English go to the US on student visas and marry hot young bankers, not old ex-pats!

      Bottom line, it takes work and compromise like any other marriage.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi paxwill. A brilliant hub really informative and so well researched. It made grim reading at one moment and brought a smile the next. Tip Top.

      Voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • calculus-geometry profile image

      TR Smith 2 years ago from Eastern Europe

      Ha ha, all this is truer than you can imagine. Many years ago one of our older neighbors moved in his new Russian wife after years of living alone. Then months later she was nowhere to be seen. When we went on a 'fishing expedition' and asked how his wife was doing, he said very frankly that she had run off! Well, I hope she is doing well and found what she was looking for in the US.

    • MKayo profile image

      MKayo 2 years ago from Texas

      When I saw this headline, I just had to read it. Very nicely done Hub! Voted up!

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      Excellent hub on these scams. Thank you for sharing.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      That's gonna pour some cold water on it for a few guys. But many will still try it.

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