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Internet Fraud Casebook by Joseph T. Wells

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Chapter 2. From Russia With Love?

ERNESTO F. ROJAS

Victoria and her young daughter, Anna, lived in Novosibirsk, Russia. her divorce a few years ago, life for Victoria had been one of stumbles, bad relationships and financial difficulties. She worked as a clerk in a perfume store and shared an apartment with her parents. While her sisters and brother went to college, embarked upon professional careers and married other professionals, Victoria became more and more frustrated and tried to find a way out of her situation.

During a visit to the house of a friend who had Internet access, Victoria learned about the growing phenomenon of online dating and she began to develop a fantasy escape from her difficult life. She attended a public program to learn English and began to use the Internet at the local library. Once she had a stronger vocabulary, she joined Internet dating services that catered to international clients. She had professional photographs taken by a local glamour photographer and added them to her profiles on various Web sites. Soon she began to receive messages from prospective suitors interested in meeting her. Being a statuesque woman in her late twenties made her attractive to many men looking for a partner. Soon she met an American man online who wanted to visit her in Russia and meet her family.

Robert was an electronics technician in California and was looking to meet a Russian woman because his recently deceased wife was also from Russia. He had a conservative lifestyle ...

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