To help Australians avoid difficulties overseas, we maintain travel advisories for more than destinations. The Australian Passport Office and its agents are committed to providing a secure, efficient and responsive passport service for Australia. Several Australian citizens have been defrauded by bogus internet friendship, dating and marriage schemes purportedly operating mainly from Russia. These large-scale, well-organised scams typically result from connections made through internet dating schemes or chat rooms. Once a virtual relationship develops, the Australian citizen is asked by their friend or prospective marriage partner to send money to enable travel to Australia. Once the money has been received, the relationship is usually terminated and any chance of recovering the funds is highly unlikely.
Internet Dating Scams
International relationship scams - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
However, none of these sites are actually selling women: they are simply using terms that have become commonplace in the dating industry that specializes in Eastern European women. The main users of these sites are American men. What most of these men are looking for is a kindred spirit, someone to love and appreciate them and possibly a woman with whom they could start a family. Is it necessary that she has a perfect body to fulfill these expectations? Not really! Although most Russian women are attractive and fit, this is not a prerequisite for a successful relationship. Moreover, men who refine their search to include some more specific personality features, moral values, and interests are more likely to find an actual soulmate.
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These large-scale, well-organised scams typically result from connections made through internet dating sites, chat rooms or social media links. Scammers might also claim they have been in an accident on the way to the airport and need money for hospital bills. There are also reports that victims have travelled to the country only to be kidnapped on arrival and held for ransom.
Whenever, for some reason, Russia comes up in the conversation, one of the most heavily associated topics with the country is its mail-order brides. You see, the economic situation outside of the more progressive cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg isn't really that great. It certainly did not help that the women population outnumber the men. There is also that cultural pressure that women are raised to marry at a young age, be domestic and cater to their husbands.