Jump4Love issues balance of refund after 15 months

I am pleased to confirm, that in spite of the fact that it has taken some 15 months, Jump4Love has finally repaid me for the credits I purchased to communicate with a girl who subsequently turned out to be operating under a false identity. A fraud, a scam, deception, call it what you will. In my particular case, this girl conspired with the director of a Nikolaev based Marriage Agency to complete the deception. However, whilst Jump4Love may also have been duped in this particular case, the fact is, Jump4Love failed, at that time, to demonstrate reasonable care to limit the possibility of fraud or deception. I don’t know if their systems, procedures or processes have improve in the interim, but hopefully, having had to refund in excess of $17,000 (over a period of 15 months), I hope they will have learned their lesson.

If anyone else suspects or knows that they have been the victim of a deception, where a girl, for example, has used a fake identity, I would urge and actively encourage them to pursue the website owners. It may require patience and persistence, but the only way website owners will improve their systems and processes is when they are hit in the pocket. Too often the owners of these dating sites think (and they may be correct) that victims will not want the hassle or will be too embarrassed to pursue a claim. Don’t give up and consider writing about your experience to aid others.

Am I still out of pocket? Yes, Jump4Love only refunded the money I paid using my main account, not the expenses I incurred when my suspicions were raised and I started investigating the suspected deception. In addition, the 15 month delays has meant that I have had to accept a lower amount than I initially paid because the refunds were made in USD and the Dollar has been relatively strong. In addition, I have had to accept poor exchange rates and bank fees for each credit. However, was it worth it? Yes, it was and I have to respect Jump4Love for accepting responsibility very early on, even if they have been incredibly slow in passing the credits.   As for me, I now consider the matter closed…and I have learned some valuable lessons.

Eastern European Dating sites, tips, advice and precautions

When you are using a dating or marriage website, the following could be potential red flags and I would urge you to proceed with caution and a firm hand on your wallet. The latter is not necessarily because the girl may ask you for money, but because you could end up spending a lot of money sending letters or using chat services to converse with a girl that is not serious. Remember, these sites always focus on “scammers” that ask for money, but the reality is, men waste considerably more money on communicating with girls and paying for website services such as translation, letters, chat and webcam. None of these pointers are definitive, but based on personal experience and the feedback I have received via this blog; they are an excellent indication of a red flag.

1. Check the profile pictures. Does it consist entirely of professional photographs? If the answer to this is yes, it is possible that these photos have been lifted from one of the many modelling sites on the internet and the individual behind the computer is someone completely different…and yes, it could also be a man. If you are suspicious and can’t see the girl on a webcam, ask for some ‘natural’ everyday photos.

2. Check the photos carefully. The use of “Photoshop” or its equivalents in Eastern Europe is commonplace. Contrary to popular myth, women in Eastern Europe age exactly the same as women in the rest of the world, but the use of photo enhancing software is commonly used to remove lines, blemishes and anything else that is considered unattractive. This does not mean the girl or the woman is a scammer, but it is a form of deception and, from a potential partner’s perspective, you want to see the real person, not an enhanced version. Once again, if in doubt and if you are interested in the girl, ask for a natural photo, preferable posed with friends or family.

3. Are the majority of the photos of the girl in scantily clad or in suggestive poses? If the answer is yes, you can be fairly certain that no self-respecting girl from Eastern Europe would sell herself this way. At least not if she was serious about looking for a future partner. These photos are designed to catch the eye and reel in naive men…and yes, it works. But these girls know that. Again, this is not a definitive indication of someone that is not serious, but it is certainly a red flag.

4. It is not uncommon to find that girls who are working for the local agencies are actually being paid a commission on income generated from men. As a consequence, some will set up fake profiles, especially if the website employs poor or non-existent identity checks or if they leave this aspect to the local agencies. Often, these identities are lifted from social networking sites such as VKontakte.com and Odnoklassniki.ru. Unless the website offers a webcam service, it is difficult to determine a fake profile from a genuine one. If you are suspicious it is worth asking the girl to send you a photo with something specific contained in it, perhaps a particular colour dress or with something (or someone) in the background or foreground that you determine.

If they have been lifting photos from a social networking site, this could prove difficult, though not impossible. Don’t accept excuses such as they don’t have a camera, girls in Eastern Europe love taking photos and you can be assured that they will have either their own camera, or access to one. In fact, the vast majority of girls have mobile phones with inbuilt cameras and, or a webcam that can take photos. The best advice I can give is of the girl resists or gets angry (a very common form of defence by Eastern European girls), is to save your money and walk away.

5. Another indication of a site filled with scammers and/or girls that are being paid a commission to communicate is the number of unsolicited letters or messages you receive, not just in the first few days of your membership, but also on a daily basis, especially when you are online. When you are on the site, the chances are you will go through the profiles and then contact a few girls you are interested in; this is a ‘normal’ approach.

Now read the unsolicited letters you have received. There is a very high possibility that these are generic in content, for example, they may not refer to you by name, they will most likely not relate to any personal information given in your own profile (hobbies, common interests, status etc), these letters will often include questions that you have already provided answers to in your own profile, they may be short, perhaps a question such as “Do you prefer girls that are blonde or brunette?” and if the website offers chat services, you can be fairly certain you will receive an invitation, because this generates income very quickly for the site, agency and more often than not, the girls. Let me make something quite clear, whilst some girls from Eastern Europe will be forward enough to make the first move they truly are a tiny minority, the vast majority, and I cannot stress this too highly, will expect and indeed demand that they are wooed and pursued.

Some girls will send out hundreds of letters as bait in the hope that a few naive men will respond and the reality is, this approach works. The best approach to use when communicating with these girls is to be a complete sceptic, these girls rely on the fact that men can be incredibly naive when contacted by an attractive girl and/or would not want to offend. Many of the girls that are on these sites just to earn a living are carefully coached and they know exactly how to exploit our weaknesses. I have spoken to two girls that were being paid a commission and they both told me that if they are willing to work at it, especially if they are using more than one profile, they could earn excellent commission through letters, without ever having to use chat or a webcam.

It is also worth remembering that many of these girls are incredibly lazy (or busy), therefore it is not uncommon for them to send very short letters which include questions and therefore require a response from the man. This can be very lucrative for the girls, especially if they start to use the letters as a form of chat message. Also, because the scammers are likely to be communicating with other men, they often get confused, ‘forgetting’ things you have previously told them. Beware, unsolicited letters, generic letters and short letters are a good indication that the girl is either not serious, or she is writing to many other men.

I can recall that on one occasion, two different girls, from different cites (3 months apart) described an identical car accident they had “witnessed”. On the first occasion, this traumatic event demanded a sympathetic response from me and we exchanged several letters. Obviously on the second occasion, I realised that it was a ‘war story’ shared between the girls. It doesn’t matter how streetwise we think we are, we are all capable of being gullible and guilty of being too trusting. Girls earning commission know this only too well and they exploit these weaknesses with no sense of remorse, we are just “rich Westerners”.

I can name one very well known website that runs regular competitions, with great prizes, for girls who generate the most letters or chat minutes. So, for the most part, you can ignore all the assurances given by website owners, this is just a lucrative business enterprise and as long as they don’t get too much negative publicity, they will encourage girls to engage men in conversation, not to find a partner, but to fill their coffers. Website owners can honestly state that they don’t pay the girls any form of commission, I am sure that this is true, however, they know that their local agencies can or do…and they simply turn a blind eye to it, only reacting if someone complains and there is irrefutable proof. You have been warned.

6. It is also worth looking at profile numbers to try and work out how long a girl has been on a particular dating site. On Jump4Love for example, there are girls that have been active on this site for 2 years or more. I ask you, is it really possible that an attractive girl can’t find a partner in 2 years? Of course, some of these accounts may have been reactivated, as is possible with some dating sites, but this is an open door for local agencies to deceive because additional checks by the websites are rarely, if ever made. Local agents can choose to reactivate an account and allow a different girl to sit behind the computer, yes it happens…and a lot more often than you would expect. This active account can then be used with virtual impunity for chat (without webcam) and letters.

7. Many girls will have you believe that they can only communicate with you via the marriage agency’s computers or in a cybercafé. Perhaps this is so, but the vast majority of these facilities include web cameras, so if the dating site offers a webcam facility, don’t be suckered into believing that the girl “doesn’t have a webcam”. Not having access to a webcam can normally be considered a very strong indicator that the girl has something to hide and it may be, for example, that the person you are communicating with is not the same as the one depicted in the profile. It is worth noting that the majority of local agencies use laptops with built in webcams. I know, for example, that many girls ask their friends at the agency to cover for them, so one girl may be responding to letters and chat messages for several other girls.

Even if you chat to a girl using a webcam, it is worth noting that some girls will go to great lengths to disguise their identity. This could be because they only have similar characteristics to the girl on the profile and/or because the photos have been so heavily doctored, that they no longer look the same. I have read several posts from men who have complained that the girl they have seen on a webcam barely resembles the one depicted in their profile photos. I also recall one girl telling me how she was “embarrassed” by the portfolio photos provided by her agency photographer, because they has been so heavily doctored, that everyone though she was or Oriental extraction. I kid you not!

For anyone that doubts it is possible to disguise their true identities I can reveal that tricks used to do this include adding transparent tape to the camera lens to distort the image. This clever trick gives the impression that the camera is of poor quality. Another common trick is to use poor lighting, or perhaps a combination of the two. Girls will go to great lengths to look to disguise themselves and this can include using a wig, or even wearing something a little risky to distract your attention. This is not Hollywood, it is happening and I have personally experienced these examples. These ‘tricks’ are typically used when the girl is communicating from home.

Disreputable local agencies that employ girls on a commission will often supply them with the loan of a free laptop for use at home. In return, the girl must spend a minimum amount of time online and will often have targets to achieve in respect of letters, chat minutes and so on. For local agencies this is a business and for many girls it is just a job. Elsewhere on this blog you will find examples of adverts that have been placed online and in newspapers targeting girls (often students) to work on these sites offering lucrative commissions, a free photography session and “flexible hours”. The girls will then be constantly monitored to ensure that the agencies can get a return on their investment.

8. Another useful clue that a girl may not be serious and/or the profile is fake is the amount of time they spend online or the hours they work. For example, it is not uncommon to find the same girls working identical hours each day. As with many businesses, these girls will often work ‘shifts’. Mornings, afternoons or, for the more determined, days, nights and/or weekends. It is not unusual to see a girls profile continuously active for 8, 10 hours or even more. Does anyone truly believe that any girl, especially an attractive one, would need, or indeed want to spend so much time on a dating site looking for a husband? Apply some objectivity here and you can quickly see a pattern emerging. Human nature tends to persuade us to give the benefit of the doubt, to trust or to be optimists…but I would urge anyone using these sites to retain a high degree of objectivity and yes, scepticism. Even the streetwise, intelligent and the wise amongst us have been successfully scammed or deceived.

If the girl tells you she is going to university or working, then ask yourself if this is compatible with the amount of time and the hours she is spending online?

9. Girls using webcams will often choose, or are required to use the facilities of their local marriage agency. This can often be confirmed by the fact that they look like as if they are in an office. In my experience these are typically the girls that work (yes, this was a deliberate use of the word) regular shifts. Worth noting however, is the fact that some of these girls will be operating several profiles and/or their own profiles on different sites simultaneously. Therefore, you should be wary of any girl that is often distracted and/or constantly asks to be excused whilst she has a drink or goes outside for a smoke (although most girls deny they smoke!). Sometimes, they may be distracted or amused as another girl in the office completes a “dance” for some pervert…yes this happens too! If the girl appears to be typing all the time, yet you receive very few messages, you need to consider the possibility that they are holding several simultaneous conversations either on the same site, or even a different one. Some sites, such as Jump4Love allow an unlimited number of men to communicate with a girl at the same time and view her webcam. Hardly romantic or conducive for an intimate exchange.

Regular users of chat will also be familiar with the some girls taking an incredible amount of time to respond to chat messages. This is can be as a consequence of the girl conducting a number of concurrent conversations or, because they are fully aware that the longer you chat, the more commission they will earn. So again, if you experience this type of behaviour, consider it another red flag.

10. Always remember that letters and chats on these websites should invariable mimic life. We all love to speak about ourselves and to exchange information about our past, present and future, often referring to the day’s events and people involved in our everyday lives such as family and friends. Whilst the ‘professional’ girls working on these sites will be experienced at inventing a character, it is unlikely they will want to write long letters, because they get paid the same amount of money, irrespective of the number or words written and let’s face it, many of these girls have very busy schedules! Similarly, it is unlikely that a girl you have never met will express her undying love after a few exchanges or be willing to discuss her dire financial situation. Too many men leave commonsense and logic at the door of the login page and it those that are susceptible to being scammed or deceived. I have to say I was also guilty of this, but based on feedback I have received and other posts on the internet, I was in the company of many, many others.

Finally, remember one very important point. The owners of these websites will constantly reassure you by telling you how they always attempt to minimise the risks of fraud. Always they will refer to girls that attempt to scam money directly from men, but they will never tell you about the most obvious and lucrative form of fraud and deception which benefits the websites, local agencies and the girls…and that is the money generated by girls that are paid a commission for communicating with you. By far and away, men will spend more money communicating with these girls than they ever will by sending money via Western Union.

Also be conscious of one other thing, if a girl is serious about you, then she will not want you to spend vast sums communicating via the website. Some sites will allow the exchange of personal information and some will force you to pay for it…but one thing is for certain, if the girl wants you to communicate directly with her, she will know exactly how to do this. Websites are keen to tell you how using the site allows them to monitor what is going on and protect you from the risks of fraud or deception. Whilst this may be true to a small extent, one thing is absolutely guaranteed, this ‘protection’ is limited at best and non-existent at worse. The bottom line is, if a website genuinely wants to protect you, they would employ more checks on their local agents, they will complete thorough initial and ongoing checks on the identity of the girls and they will monitor things like the amount of time a girl spends online each day, the number of letters she sends each day and the length of time she has been on the site. They won’t because they know what they don’t want you to know; these are the girls that generate the biggest returns.

If you are reading this article, the chances are you have already had your suspicions raised, or you want to use one of these dating sites for the first time. My advice is to approach with caution, or better still, try using a free Eastern European social networking site. Unless or until these marriage and dating websites clean up their act, they don’t deserve another cent!

Jump4Love, can they be trusted? Read this and decide for yourself

Q. – What is the mission of Jump4love?
A. – Jump4love is an intermediary between single men from all over the world and brides from Ukraine and Russia. We provide online communication facilities which are used by men and women to get in touch with each other. Our main purpose is to gather single ladies and men under one roof and give them a chance to develop their relations.

Q. – I am for the first time on your site. Are all girls there real?
A. – We closely check all new female profiles, request copies of their documents and interview our ladies before publishing them on the site. Our specialists are doing a lot of work keeping scammers and fake profiles out of the site. The best way to check if a women you like is real is to spend some minutes with her in video chat.

I have detailed two of the questions and answers listed on the Jump4Love website under Frequently Asked Questions as of 11th January 2012. In my opinion, based on personal experience and what I have been told, their answers are too ambiguous and self-serving to be considered fair or accurate. If Jump4Love want men to use their expensive communication services, then potential customers are entitled to be given an open and honest account of what Jump4Love do and don’t do. In the interests of fairness and providing a good counter-balance, I have produced what I consider to be a more accurate reflection of their current systems, procedures and policies.

Jump4Love claim that their “mission” and their “main purpose” is to be an intermediary between single ladies and men. This is complete bullshit of course, their main mission is profit, this is a business and I don’t understand why they are so coy about this. If their main mission was to act as an intermediary between single men and single girls, then they could offer this service free with advertiser support, or at a fraction of the price that they currently charge. For example: a two-way webcam chat is $1.20 a minute; does anyone see Jump4Love as a benevolent organisation? I don’t think so. It is also noteworthy, that whilst Jump4Love advertise that they are an “International Marriage Agency”, they recant this statement within their Terms of Use and, unsurprisingly providing considerably less prominence to the statement. The reason for this will become obvious in due course.

To understand what “checks” Jump4Love complete to protect men from scammers and from girls using fake profiles, first it is important to have an appreciation of how girls are added to the site. In common with many other dating sites, Jump4Love use third parties to recruit girls and Jump4Love variously (and confusingly) refer to these so called local “marriage agencies” as affiliates, agents and intermediaries. By their own admission, Jump4Love’s checks on successful agents or affiliates are limited to confirmation that they have an appropriate business licence and a copy of the passport for the ‘Agency Director’. Whilst the newly appointed agent has to agree to a set of terms, no financial or background checks are made on the business or the directors. Little wonder that Jump4Love is such a popular intermediary amongst the local marriage agencies!

Once appointed, these agents or affiliates are able to recruit and add new girls to the Jump4Love database. Jump4Love insist that a copy of the girls passport or identity document should be forwarded to them before a profile is activated. However, as my own experience demonstrated, these can easily be faked. Jump4Love now claim that girls are required to go on webcam with a copy of their passport, but I know for a fact, that this is not routine. Therefore, what Jump4Love will not tell you, is that the primary responsibility for ensuring that the girls are genuine, remains with their local agents, the same agents recruited with such minimal checks. However, rather than have a more robust screening process, Jump4Love prefer to distance themselves from this process by excluding any responsibility for the actions of their agents or affiliates within their Terms of Use! This is perhaps the most damning (and revealing) indictment of Jump4Love’s security measures. However, no matter what Jump4Love include in their Terms of Use, the fact remains, that in law, they ARE responsible where they have not demonstrated due diligence or a reasonable duty of care. In my view, based on the very limited checks completed on agents and girls, Jump4Love would have great difficulty justifying this exclusion in a court of law.

Once a profile has been activated, the local agents or affiliates are given free rein through their admin panel to amend and change profiles. Therefore, it is theoretically possible (and I know this happens), for a girl to be ‘approved’ by Jump4Love and then the profile completely changed with images of a different girl….sometimes within a few days. I once asked Jump4Love by email why local agents were permitted to change dates of birth or names, they never responded to my question! Jump4Love claim that there are “no fake profiles” in their tag lines, but they know this is not true. Jump4Love make it easy for dishonest local agents or affiliates to operate fake profiles. Common tactics utilised by dishonest local agencies include asking a girl known to the Agency director (or one of the girls), as a favour, or in return for payment to ‘borrow’ their identity; another is to have one girl ‘working’ several profiles while the other girls have a night off or are on holiday and the favourite, is to use ‘old’ profiles, where a girl has left. Good ‘earners’ are rewarded with additional fake profiles. Did I mention that whatever Jump4Love would have you believe, the vast majority of the girls recruited by local “marriage agencies” are paid a commission for chatting and writing to men?  Jump4Love suggest that you confirm girls are real by viewing them in video chat and this appears like good advice. However, a word of warning, if the girl looks different to the photos (this is not uncommon), then she probably is…and another favourite is to use poor lighting and/or cover the camera with cellophane to reduce the quality of the image. Some girls do not show their face at all, but these are mainly ‘professionals’ that cater for the many perverts that frequent this site looking for a cheap thrill.

Jump4Love told me that they do not allow girls to delete or deactivate their profiles in case they change their minds. Instead, the responsibility to delete profiles remains with the local agent or affiliate. To any casual observer, this would seem wide open to abuse by any dishonest local agent, but Jump4Love don’t see it that way. Jump4Love claim that if any girl writes to them and asks for their profile to be deleted, they will comply with the request, I have been told that this is not always so! There is another aspect to this whole process that Jump4Love are either in denial of, or don’t want you to know…and that is some of these girls are so intimidated by the local agencies, that they refuse to create a fuss if their profiles are not deleted. Jump4Love can always claim that there are no fake profiles, but this does not make it true.

If Jump4Love was serious about stamping out fake profiles and scammers, they could do so much more. For example, they could complete background and financial checks on all new agencies and their directors. They could allow girls to delete their own profiles, even if the data is retained for a period of time (in case they “change their minds”), which would give Jump4Love the opportunity to check the details again if the profile is reactivated. They could prevent local agents from changing details such as names and date of birth. They could prevent local agents from changing every photograph in a profile and limiting the number of additions/deletions in any given profile. They could monitor ‘suspicious activity’ such as girls being “online” for hours and hours, every day…if this is not a sign of someone that is “employed” or using a fake profile (another girl operating several profiles simultaneously), I don’t know what is. They could ask for regular updates (passport or camera checks) very 2 or 3 months on all active girls and they could deactivate or remove inactive accounts automatically. In addition, they could review all girls that have been active on their site for a long time, for example, there are girls that have been there since 2009….I ask you, how can any girl claim to be serious and still looking after 3 years…? Jump4Love could also be more proactive, for example, some dating sites actually go onto social networking sites to check the current status of the women on their database and immediately delete any that have been dishonest about their circumstances or status. One girl on Jump4Love that I was regularly communicating with in 2010 was actually married and living in another country….and she had NO knowledge that her ‘profile’ was being handed around like a commodity by the Agency Director.

I started this post by stating that Jump4Love is a business and its primary motivation is profit. I stand by this argument. Jump4Love make the same amount of money irrespective of whether a girl is genuine or fake…serious; or just working for a share of the commission. The only losers are the men and why should Jump4Love be concerned about them? In my particular case, I did not run away and lick my wounds as most men do (something these types of sites rely on), I made a claim against Jump4Love…and Jump4Love to their credit at the time, agreed to refund me in excess of $17,000…however, to their eternal shame, they paid less than two thirds!  Having taken nearly a year to pay back just 45% of the total, Jump4Love refuse to honour the agreement…but I am not too concerned, because I will see them in court, even though the two registered companies (one in the UK and one in the USA)  do not appear to have filed any accounts!

I think the fact that Jump4Love fails to beef up their security systems and procedures speaks volumes for their real attitude to the use of fake profiles and/or the risks posed to their clients of becoming a victim of a fraud or deception. Most of the measures I have suggested could be automated and employed at minimal cost, but of course, fewer ‘active’ profiles means less income…so Jump4Love has little incentive to get it right. Sure, reputation is important in the online dating business; however, if Jump4Love are prepared to admit I was a victim of a fraud and deception, agree a refund and then renege on this agreement…then it is difficult to believe that reputation is important to them. If a business is motivated by profit and does not care about their reputation…then it is a very serious red flag to any man contemplating giving them any money. It is no coincidence that Jump4Love is a favourite amongst agencies in Ukraine, given it is known for having minimal checks when compared with many similar dating sites.

Update: Jump4Love have contacted me and insisted that they had refunded the full $4823. When I checked my latest statements, I had received just $1158 of the $4823 and given it is more than 4 weeks since the last refund they claim to have processed, I think it is safe to conclude that it is not ‘stuck’ in the banking system. However, given their track record on refunds, I decided to audit all the refunds they claim to have made and, yet again, their was a massive difference between what they claimed to have sent and what I received. On the 20th October, they claimed they had refunded $12,402….but according to my audit, I had received just $6650….!!! An error, I don’t think so. Therefore, to conclude, after 11 months, I have received just $7808 of the $17,250 Jump4Love promised to refund. Just 45% of the total! I have sent a final demand to Jump4Love, and I will happily update this blog with the outcome.

Jump4Love, liars and cheats?

At the beginning of the year I wrote to Jump4Love once I had discovered that I had been the victim of a deception orchestrated via their website. In my particular case, I had been communicating with a girl called “Kristina Smirnova” for a period of 9 months. However, after having my suspicions raised, I discovered that Kristina Smirnova did not exist and she was, in fact a girl called Natalia Granchenko. My investigations concluded that Natalia Granchenko had been allowed to set up a fake profile by her Agency Director, Margarita Naumenko to facilitate this deception. As I understand it, this was common practice with Naumenko. At the time of writing to Jump4Love, I had spent in excess of $25,000 for web chats and letters with this girl and, perhaps foolishly, I had sent Natalia Granchenko some $4102 through Western Union. I can confirm however, that Natalia Granchenko has now repaid me the full $4102.

Jump4Love promised to investigate and eventually responded to me via email. They confirmed that I had indeed been the victim of a serious fraud and deception. They said that they had removed the offending profiles. They also informed me that they had calculated I had spent $17,250 communicating with this girl and said they would be providing me with a full refund. Jump4Love also said they would be terminating Margarita Naumenko’s agency agreement and removing all of the girls associated with her. In fact, it was to take several months…and only with my help, that they finally removed most of the girls that were associated with Margarita Naumenko. However, I know for a fact that some of these girls, many scammers amongst them, simply moved to other agencies and set up new profiles with Jump4Love. Of course, Jump4Love claimed this could not happen…but it did and they only reacted when I reported a specific case…and eventually I got bored of being their policeman! Anyway, I digress, back to why I call Jump4Love “Liars and Cheats”.

Following their written confirmation that I was entitled to a refund of $17,250, Jump4Love started to issue refunds in small amounts, mirroring payments I had made to them. However, these payments were sporadic and to be honest, I expected a full refund…not a ‘payment plan. When I queried this, at first they said they were paying me as and when they got the money from Margarita Naumenko. I told them that this was unacceptable, not least because any arrangement they had with Naumenko was a commercial one and nothing to do with my claim. I also made clear that at no point did they make clear that refunds were conditional. They wrote back and agreed that the refunds were not conditional, but instead, they were having problems reconciling the refunds with payments I made as a consequence of administration issues with their card processor. I accepted this argument and patiently waited for the money to be ‘drip fed’ into my credit card accounts. I have to admit I found this incredibly irritating, because attempting to reconcile these refunds was very time consuming.

In October of this year I noticed that I had not received any refunds from Jump4Love for several weeks, although this was not unusual, I was beginning to lose patience with Jump4Love for taking so long to refund the $17,250. They responded by informing me that the “CEO” was not happy with my blog and they would not process further refunds unless, or until I passed over the access passwords to this blog. I responded that I felt all the comments contained in this blog were fair, true and offered a “balanced” insight into my experience. I also made clear that I would never submit to any form of “blackmail”. They eventually responded stating that it was not their intention to blackmail me and acknowledging that I had been fair in my commentary on this blog. They also said that they would recommence the refunds immediately with view to refunding the balance owed within 6 weeks. They also asked that I acknowledge on this blog that they had taken responsibility an refunded my money, I replied that it was always my intention to highlight the fact that Jump4Love had refunded my payments because I wanted this blog to be an honest and fair account of my experiences. Jump4Love accepted this and over the following few weeks, informed me that refunds totalling in excess of $4823 had been made. [According to Jump4Love, this meant that they had met all their obligations in terms of the refunds. I was to later discover, after I competed an audit of the refunds, that this was a complete lie!]

When I checked with my card issuers, none of these payments had been received. I queried this with Jump4Love and they asked me for more information about my credit cards, I thought this was strange given all the information they needed to complete a refund is already there with the original payment, but I gave them what they asked for. When I heard nothing, I asked them to provide me with details of the refunds, including the transaction numbers so that I could get my card issuers to trace the refunds. I heard nothing further from jump4Love!

In conclusion, I believe I am fully justified in accusing Jump4Love of being liars and cheats, in fact, I would add to that and further accuse them of deception. They are liars because they claimed to have issued refunds when clearly they didn’t. They are cheats because they have attempted to cheat me out of money they themselves admit was taken from me through fraud. And, in my view, they are guilty of deception because they deceived me into believing that they were honourable people that would meet their obligations. If Jump4Love meet their obligations in the coming weeks, I will update this blog to reflect that, however, if they continue to ignore my communications, I declare publicly that I intend to issue civil proceedings against them for all of my losses, this includes the $25,000 that I spent with them directly (in the form of credits) as well as my losses incurred as a direct consequence of Jump4Love’s failure to adopt reasonable security measures to minimise the possibility of their clients being deceived through the connivance of dishonest agents and scammers using fake profiles. As I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog, at the time I was using Jump4Love, their “security measures” were virtually non-existent, they performed no background checks on new agencies or their directors, they never audited their agents or affiliates and they operated a system that allowed fake profiles to be set up routinely and easily. In other words, in my opinion they were reckless and breached their legal duty of care. Even if it was not their intent, through their lack of any effective initial and ongoing security measures, Jump4Love were arguably complicit in facilitating the deception.

I am sure there are many other men that have been the victims of a suspected deception involving girls featured on the Jump4Love website. If you suspect this is the case, I invite you to write to me with as much information as possible. If you want to remain anonymous, that is okay, my intention is to identify a pattern amongst certain girls and/or agencies and then submit this with my own evidence to the appropriate authorities with a view to persuading them to investigate the activities of Jump4Love, their agents and the girls. Anyone wishing to join me in a civil action against Jump4Love to recover payments they believe have been made through an active deception is also welcome to contact me; however, you need to be aware that in any civil action, your name will have to be revealed as party to the claim.

Update: Jump4Love have contacted me and insisted that they had refunded the full $4823. When I checked my latest statements, I had received just $1158 of the $4823 and given it is more than 4 weeks since the last refund they claim to have processed, I think it is safe to conclude that it is not ‘stuck’ in the banking system. However, given their track record on refunds, I decided to audit all the refunds they claim to have made and, yet again, their was a massive difference between what they claimed to have sent and what I received. On the 20th October, they claimed they had refunded $12,402….but according to my audit, I had received just $6650….!!! An error, I don’t think so. Therefore, to conclude, after 11 months, I have received just $7808 of the $17,250 Jump4Love promised to refund. Just 45% of the total! I have sent a final demand to Jump4Love, and I will happily update this blog with the outcome.

 

European Dating Sites-What the girls are really saying about you!

Have you ever wondered what the girls on these so called dating sites or marriage agencies think of you?

Here is a forum used by girls from Ukraine who actively and without apology discuss the various aspects of using so called dating sites and marriage agencies: http://forum.od.ua/showthread.php?t=103036. Although the forum is in Russian/Ukrainian, you can translate each page and get a useful insight into the real views, objectives and goals of these girls. Persevere, it is an eye opener!

For example, they like to refer to men using the dating sites as “clients”, and some girls prefer the less complimentary term of “peasants”. Not something you would expect from girls who join a dating site wanting  to find a “foreign husband”. But, this is the harsh reality of these dating sites, far from offering an opportunity for men and women to meet beyond international borders, they offer lucrative employment for students, married women, girls with local boyfriends and yes, I assume, a few girls with serious intentions.

In these posts, girls refer to the commissions they are paid by local marriage agencies to engage in communications with men. Some want to move further up the ladder and become a ‘marriage agency’ or affiliate, but with such easy money to be made, the dating websites can set the barrier high, often, according to these posts, requiring a minimum of 20 to 50 new girls with each new agency. You can read the complaints made about various dating websites when girls or, more accurately, the local agent or affiliate is “fined” for some misdemeanour.

Girls offer each other advice on the best ways of ensuring that their ‘real life’ does not get mixed up in the fake life they lead whilst earning money from dating websites via their local marriage agency. It would appear that not all men are as stupid as the girls like to believe, and to the indignation of these girls, some men are starting to search for the girls they are regularly communicating with on social networking sites such as: VKontakte.ru; Mail.ru and Odnoklassniki.ru. I assume this is because men want to ensure that they are communicating with real girls and not fakes, or perhaps it is because they want to check the veracity of the statements and claims made by the girls they are writing to or chatting with. Either way; these girls are not happy and some complain bitterly that their “work life” should not encroach upon their “personal life”!!! Am I missing something here? I thought the whole purpose of girls joining these websites was to find a suitable partner and change their personal life for the better. Okay I digress, back to reality…the girls are worried about these incursions and offer each other advice. For example, they suggest using a nickname or pseudonym, hiding profiles from anyone that is not a friend, changing their age, date of birth and/or their city of residence. Above all, they firmly recommend not using the same photos from their dating profiles within their social networking profiles. It wouldn’t be wise to make it too easy for us!!!!

However, what really has the girls up in arms is the fact that some of the dating sites, the two specifically mentioned are Dream Marriage and Anastasia, are also getting in on the act and routinely searching for and checking the social networking profiles of the girls registered on their sites. It would appear that, depending on how naughty the girls have been regarding their personal situations, they could end up being fined or having their profile permanently deleted from the dating website. No profile, no work…it is easy to understand why the girls would be so outraged that their “working life should infringe on their personal life”. Interestingly, none of the girls appear to be too concerned about the fact that they routinely lie to men, pretending to be looking for a life partner, when in reality; they are just trying to earn as much money as possible through letters and webchat…no matter how many lies they have to tell to achieve their goals. Spend an hour or two reading these posts and you will quickly realise how mercenary these girls are. I read hundreds of posts…and not one mentioned anything about girls wanting to meet the love of their life.

Whilst liars and cheats appear acceptable to the dating websites, it is apparent that they do not want girls who are using fake profiles and some dating site owners are being very proactive in their attempts to remove these girls. I suspect this has more to do with the fact that men can also complete such checks and the website owners don’t want to be caught out, rather than a genuine attempt to ensure that men are not deceived or mislead. A cynic may even surmise that the ongoing investigation by the FBI Internet Crimes Division is encouraging many of the USA based websites to get their act together! That said, the only sites that are mentioned on this forum in terms of having a proactive approach to weeding out fakes is Dream Marriage and Anastasia. The likes of Jump4Love, MariyaClub, Cinderella and a few others are notable by their absence from the commentary of this particular forum, suggesting that the anti-fraud measures on these websites is weaker. That said, in the case of jump4Love and relying on my own personal experience with them, it comes as no surprise. In fact, one girl even referred to jump4Love as a “porn site”, whilst that term may not be included in the J4L marketing material, the fact remains that if you want a cheap thrill, then Jump4Love is the place to go…because there are many girls there that will willing remove their clothes (and more) at the drop of a hat (or more accurately in exchange for a few credits)…and the site even encourages voyeurs, by permitting men to “spy” on girls that are engaged with other men. Girls don’t complain of course, because they will get paid even more money, so why not put on a show? I don’t know if this would class jump4Love as a porn site, but it certainly sets itself apart from other dating sites.

Anyway, for those of you that are considering subscribing to, or buying credits with an Eastern European dating website (or marriage agency), I would strongly recommend that you first visit the forum mentioned in this post. You will quickly realise that many of the girls on these sites have a cynical and insulting approach the men they meet during the course of our job. They may not ask you for money directly, but it is clear from their own words, that they communicate with us for the money…and woe betide anyone or anything that affects their “personal lives”…after all, your emotions are secondary…men (or as they prefer “clients” or “peasants”) are just a means to exploit and make money from.

If you want to meet a woman from Eastern Europe, the best advice I can give you is to join a local social networking site such as: VKontakte.ru; Mail.ru and Odnoklassniki.ru (there are many more micro sites)…these are free and because there is no financial motive, you are less likely to be scammed or deceived. As for the Eastern European dating sites I would give them a wide berth…as one girl points out on this forum, it is becoming harder and harder to earn money because men simply no longer respond to unsolicited letters from the girls. One final thing….most of these girls are particularly adept at Photoshop or similar derivatives, you have been warned!

Dating sites offer little protection against scammers!

Am I the only person that has grown tired of the self-promoting and patronising blogs set up by operators of dating & marriage websites? Firstly, the real reason for these blogs has nothing to do with protecting men from scammers, instead it is a way of providing valuable ‘backlinks’ to their main website and to promote their own dating website above others. Each dating website owner wants to appear your best friend and tell you that they have your interests at heart. But do they, or are these just weasel words from people who place profit above any moral considerations? I will allow you to form your own judgement. Oh yes, if the blog entry appears to be full of praise for the dating website, take a closer look, hover over the link and nine times out of ten, you will see that it is not a direct link or has additional code, this is so the “independent reviewer” can receive a commission if you sign up and use the services of the dating website.

One thing website owners always try and tell you is that you should only communicate through their site, in order that they can offer you “protection against scammers”. Really? So what protection do you get if you continue to use the facilities of the website…in my experience, little or none!! They claim that they monitor letters and chat to try and seek out potential scammers, if this is so,  can confirm that in my personal experience, I have never seen any evidence of this. The only words that appear to be monitored and ‘scrambled’ or removed are telephone number and email addresses. I have had money, passports, visa’s and many other ‘keywords’ mentioned in letter and chat and not once has this been flagged. If the technology exists to automatically scan letters and chat for email addresses and telephone numbers, then it also exists to scan for other keywords. The reality is however, it is not in the interests of the website owners to highlight these things, given the best scammers are also the best revenue owners. Instead, the website owners will write a lot of garbage about how much they care for your interests, all of which can be taken as empty rhetoric.

Of course, some letters and chat facilities are monitored, but not as you might expect, by the website owners, but by the local marriage agencies that engage (or in some cases employ) the girls. Once again, if some of the Russian language forums are to be believed, this monitoring has less to do with protecting the interests of the men and more to do with a method of ‘fining’ girls some of their “commission earnings” for failing to follow the rules, such as leaving their webcam on when they are having a cigarette, saying negative things about the website or trying to send secret messages o men warning them that the whole thing is a scam. Of course, and I accept this maybe the exception rather than the rule, some agencies monitor such communications to ensure that they get their percentage of any scams that the girls are engaged in…yes, this actually happens. You send a girl $800 for a new laptop and half could go to the agency director!!!

Based on the evidence I have seen and I have found through my research, I would have to say that there is substantial evidence that a large proportion of the girls on Eastern European dating sites are paid to communicate with men. Adverts are openly placed for girls to chat to men in return for up to 80% of the income generated by the local marriage agencies. This is compounded and perhaps supported by the fact that girls often insist that they can only communicate using the facilities of the ‘agency’ or the website. The reality is, that any girl willing to put the hours in, can earn more money in commissions, than they can through the usual ‘visa or travel scams’, although that doesn’t stop them from trying to scam more money, but these scams are a bonus, not their principal income. The dating scams have moved on, but the website operators will try and convince gullible or naive men that the biggest scams are travel, visa or subsistence scams, but this is not so, the biggest scams by far is the fact that many of these girls are only communicating with men because they are receiving a commission to do so. The website operators provide fertile ground for these scams to take place and scammers must be further encouraged by the fact that I could find no evidence of a single prosecution of any individual in Ukraine for any of these types of scams, deceptions or frauds.

The harsh reality is that most (but not all), marriage and dating website owners complete very basic checks on new, local agents and representatives. Often requiring just a copy of their passport and business licence and an agreement to accept the terms of the website owners, this may not even be a formal contract, just an acknowledgement of the terms. Thereafter, auditing and monitoring is, in most cases, virtually non-existent. In fact, from the evidence I have seen, most local agents are required to police themselves, little wonder that the industry is rife with scammers, fake profiles and opportunists.

Of course, most of these website owners will try and hide behind their carefully crafted ‘terms and conditions’ or “FAQ’s”, but anyone that has been scammed should not be put off by this. In most countries, and that includes the USA where most of these sites are situated, the law requires that such businesses act responsibility and demonstrate a duty of care to ensure that their customers do not come to harm or suffer any undue loss. If they can be seen to have breached this obligation, then they can be held liable to compensate the victim, not matter what their terms and conditions state. I am assured, that website operators that employ minimal vetting procedures for new agents, fail to adopt and independent auditing system, fail to use technology that is available at a reasonable cost to protect customers and attempt to derogate their legal obligations through a poorly written set of terms and conditions (or FAQ’s), are likely to be held to have acted unreasonably and outside the law. If you have been scammed…don’t give up!!!

Why can’t girls remove their own profiles?

Why don’t marriage and dating websites remove profiles of girls when requested to do so?

Based on my research and some emails I have received, the answer depends very much on the policy of the dating website. Some for example allow the girls to permanently remove their profiles and this appears to make complete sense, given it is the girl’s that must decide when they want to stop using the facilities of the website. However, others, such as Jump4Love leave this function to the local “marriage and dating agencies” who initially introduced the girls. In my view, this policy could lead to abuse, deception and/or fraud if unscrupulous local agencies decide to continue using, (in her absence) a girls profile, details, name and/or photographs. Moreover, I am bound to question the logic of the policy given I can see no reason why any legitimate website would want to prevent a girl from closing her profile.

I can give one personal example of this. Some 18 months ago, a girl I was in communication with asked the local marriage agency to remove her profile, they refused. Later I personally observed that this profile was being used (online) and when I raised this with the girl in question, she was furious, because it had not been her. I subsequently wrote to Jump4Love to explain this problem and, to their credit, they said that if the girl wrote to them direct, they would immediately remove her profile, which they did. However, if I had not intervened, would Jump4Love have been so forthright in removing this girl’s profile? After all, I have heard from other girls that when they have written to Jump4Love to have their profile removed, nothing had happened and they had not even received a reply. These local agencies and websites don’t own these girls and they have no right to refuse to act on their legitimate requests to have their profiles removed. Moreover, local agencies must be educated to understand, that even if they finance “portfolio photographs”, these are not the property of the agency and should not be used without the express permission of the subject (the girl).

In my view, girls should be able to remove their profiles and this should permanently remove their personal details, profile description and photographs from the database. There should be no facility to suspend or enter a new girls details on the old profile number (yes, as incredible as it sounds, in some cases this is actually possible) and it should be impossible to edit (after registration) things such as name, date of birth, eye colour etc. For example, in one case I had personal experience of (Jump4Love), someone had taken over the profile of a girl I had been communicating with, different photographs, profile description and name…but I could still see the letters I had sent to the first girl, which meant the new girl could view my (confidential) letters. I found this outrageous!

How would a man feel if he is paying to write to letters to a girl that is no longer active? Worst still, how would a man feel if he was to find that this ‘old profile’ had been hijacked by another girl? Yes, it happens, unscrupulous agencies can and do have their regular girls answer letters sent to girls with inactive profiles, once again I have personal experience of this, but I am unable to divulge any more details of this given it is liable to be used in a Police prosecution. There are also numerous examples on the internet of girls complaining that their old profiles and/or photographs had been hijacked. This could be stopped immediately, by all websites allowing girls to remove their own profiles. If website owners are to put so little effort into vetting and auditing local marriage agencies, then at the very least, they have a moral obligation to remove all possible avenues for unscrupulous local agencies to use system or process loopholes to deceive men and increase their income from commissions.

It is all very well website owners claiming that they have a strict ‘anti-scam’ policy, but when their own systems are weak or open to systematic abuse, this must be taken with a pinch of salt. Website owners should either allow all girls to remove their own profiles (note, I do not suggest that they be allowed to suspend them) or, provide a method whereby girls can write direct to the website owners and have their profiles (and photographs) removed immediately from the database, thereby reducing the possibility of abuse from the local agency. Only then can men have some confidence that the girls are both active and legitimate and, of course, the girls be assured that their identities will not be held to ransom or subsequently abused. It is a simple fix, but requires a genuine desire by the website owners to want to prevent all areas of possible abuse. As I have said already, some website owners already allow girls to remove their own profile, it is time the others followed their lead.

Margarita Naumenko, Force of Love, Nikolaev

Margarita Naumenko - Marriage Agency Director, Force of Love, Nikolaev

Margarita Naumenko, Nikolaev

Using the email address provided by Jump4Love, I wrote to Margarita Naumenko who is listed as the agency director for Force of Love, in Nikolaev, Ukraine.

In this letter I provided Margarita Naumenko with a summary of my experience to date and the costs I had incurred as a consequence of what a very clear case deception. I also advised her that in my opinion, she had primary responsibility given she had allowed and assisted Natalia Granchenko to set up a fake profile in the name of “Kristina Smirnova” and then she and/or her agency, “Force of Love, Nikolaev” had profited from the deception in the form of substantial and regular commissions from Jump4Love over the course of 7 months. In addition, I made clear to Margarita that I was aware that “Kristina” had been communicating with other men during this period and, indeed, prior to my own encounter; therefore it was highly likely that others had also been deceived. I advised Margarita that in my opinion, if the deception had been made for financial gain, as appeared to be the case, then this could be evidence of fraud.

I further advised Mararita Naumenko that although Natalia Granchenko had denied she gained financially from our communications on the Jump4Love website, that this stretched credibility too far and, in my view, there was substantial, if circumstantial, evidence to the contrary. In addition, Natalia Granchenko had informed me in writing that some girls that worked within her agency may have been paid and other did receive prizes.

Natalia Granchenko had informed me that Margarita Naumenko wanted to resolve matter amicably and with this in mind my letter to her outlines my conditions which were as follows;

1.    A substantial offer of financial compensation for my losses incurred as a direct result of this fraud and deception

2.    A letter of apology from you and Natalia (not an admission of guilt, just an apology)

3.    An undertaking from you; that you will never allow Natalia in her own name, or the name of others to set up another profile with your agency or any others known to you.

4.    An undertaking from Natalia that she will never join another dating or marriage’ site either in her own name or in any other name…and further, that she will not assume control of any profiles from friends or acquaintances that are no longer active

5.    An undertaking from you that you have reviewed all of the girls on your agencies and withdrawn access to any profile that is not their own. Please note, I know of at least two other girls that have more than one fake profile, therefore I will monitor this.

After some time, I received a response from Margarita which did not deny any of the allegations I had made and in which she indicated that she was sorry for what happened and wanted to come to an agreement in terms of reimbursing me for my losses. I made clear that I would not accept less than $25,000 in relation to the communication charges I had incurred through Jump4Love and this lead to a further exchange of emails where Margaita Naumenko attempted to negotiate a lower figure and period of time to repay this money.

I dismissed an offer of $15,000 from Margarita Naumenko, but eventually agreed that I would accept a figure of $25,000 in two tranches, the first to be paid immediately and the balance 1 month later. Margarita Naumenko agreed to this and also the written undertakings I had insisted upon as detailed above. In the event, Margarita Naumenko failed to deliver on any of these commitments. No refund or written undertakings were ever provided.

I eventually wrote to Margarita Naumenko and advised her that I would seek to recover my money through the Ukrainian courts and Jump4Love. Also, that I intended to report the matter to the Police. I have since written to Jump4Love and will provide more information on this in a later posting and the criminal complaint has been referred to the Police in Kiev. In the meantime, I am given to understand that it is very much ‘business as usual’ for Margarita Naumenko and in spite of assurances from Natalia Granchenko, I believe she continues to operate under false identities on the Jump4Love website, once again, supported by Margarita Naumenko. It certainly appears that any signs of sorrow, regret or remorse were are fictitious as the profile of Kristina Smirnova and in my view, their activities will only stop with a successful prosecution and I have made it my mission to ensure that the Police are provided with enough evidence to mount an investigation.

Natalia Granchenko the Scam

In the first party of my story, I outlined my introduction to, and history with “Kristina Smirnova” and how this progresses for a period of 7 months using the Jump4Love dating site. I also touched on how I was to discover that the girl I had come to know as ‘Kristina Smirnova’ was in fact a fake. Behind the photos, was Natalia Granchenko, who had set up this false profile and kept this charade going for 7 months with the connivance and support of her local “Agency Director” (Force of Love, Nikolaev), Margarita Naumenko.

So, following the revelation that “Kristina” had bumped in to a former boyfriend called “Dennis” on New Years Eve (and felt obliged to have sex with him), the meeting that we had planned for 7 weeks and had been fully paid for, had to be cancelled. Having followed hot on the heels of the cancellation of our November meeting, in very similar circumstances (a few days before the meeting and after I had paid for everything), I was finally convinced that something was wrong, very wrong. It was clear to me, that whatever her reasons, ‘Kristina’ did not want to meet with me, what didn’t make sense, was why she would agree to a meeting, allow me to pay for everything and then create a set of circumstances where it had to be cancelled a few days before. Not once, but twice in 2 months!

This time I resolved to search for the truth and with a combination of local private detectives, some personal research and some long overdue intuition, I became convinced that the reason ‘Kristina’ didn’t want to meet with me was because she couldn’t, because she was a fake. However, this was supposition and I could not be 100% certain and I decided to call ‘Kristina’s’ bluff.

I started this process by writing to Jump4Love and asking for a copy of the ‘proof of identity’ given

by Kristina Smirnova when she registered. After an unusually extended wait, I was provided with a copy of a passport which included a photograph of the person that I had come to know as Kristina Smirnova. I have to confess, I was not convinced about the authenticity of the passport and I was also suspicious that it should take so long to get a copy of something that was supposed to be kept ‘on file’.

I subsequently contacted ‘Kristina’ and told her that I had information on her true identity and that I wanted to give her the opportunity to tell me the truth, rather than allow me to expose her as a liar. However, whilst I was 99% convinced that ‘Kristina’ was a fake, I had no idea who the real person behind her identity was and I needed her to confess. Of course, as a consummate and accomplished liar, ‘Kristina’ continued the façade for close to an hour, until eventually, she realised that if she didn’t tell me the truth, then I would report my suspicions to the website (Jump4Love), including the fact that I believed I had been provided with a fake passport, this was something she very clearly didn’t want.

So finally, “Kristina” admitted that she was in fact Natalia Granchenko and that she had been

wearing a wig in the guise of ‘Kristina’. The name was not a complete shock to me, because ‘Kristina’ had previously told me that her mother was called Natalia Granchenko and that her mother worked in a bank.  In addition, I recalled that ‘Kristina’s’ best friend was called Natalia and also had an active profile on the Jump4Love website. In fact, ‘Kristina’ even had the audacity to send me photos of Natalia, I was quite shocked about how brazen she had been.

Over a period of a few days, I asked Natalia how it was possible for her to set up a fake identity when Jump4Love claimed that everyone must provide proof of their identity.  She told me that the “Agency Director”, Margarita Naumenko had allowed her to set up this fake profile. I then asked her why she would want to set up a false profile, although I have to confess, at this stage, I was fairly certain of the true reason. However, in what was to become a well rehearsed answer, Natalia said it was because she was “in love” with me and I had never responded to any letters she had sent under her real identity. I told her that I didn’t believe this, it was simply too ridiculous for words. In what was to be a further bluff, I told Natalia that I believed that she was using additional fake profiles, she then confessed that she was behind another profile, a girl called “Olga”, but that this girl was real, a friends of hers and she had just “taken over” her profile. I asked her why she would do this and she couldn’t answer the question.

I then told Natalia that I believed she was being paid to communicate with me. She categorically denied this. I went on to say that I had been doing some research and there was a lot of evidence that agencies were advertising for girls to chat to men in return for a commission of 50% or more of income generated. I told her, that based on what she had now revealed to me and my own research I believed there was strong circumstantial evidence that she was being paid by the “agency” for writing and chatting to men. Once again Natalia denied this, saying she did it “for love”. I considered this to be a statement that stretched even the most vivid imagination. I asked Natalia if she denied that girls working for Margarita Naumenko of Nikolaev agency “Force of Love” were paid and she said that all she could say was that she had never been paid, but there were “prizes” given as an incentive and “some girls working at the agency may get paid”.

I told Natalia that all the evidence pointed to her being paid to communicate to me. Specifically, the fact that she always claimed that Skype, Yahoo Messenger and other alternative methods of communications didn’t work, the fact that she claimed that she did not have an email address, the fact that I was never able to call her mobile phone and therefore, the only reliable communication we could have was through the Jump4Love website. If that was not enough, I  continued, the fact that she had not one, but two fake profiles that she was using on a daily basis, in addition to her own profile clearly indicated a profit motive. Once again, Natalia denied this.

Margarita Naumenko - Marriage Agency Director, Nikolaev

Margarita Naumenko

When I asked Natalia why she agreed to 3 meetings with me, when she knew that it would be impossible for me to meet with “Kristina”, she told me that she had every intention of telling me before the meeting that she was really Natalia. I noted, that where Natalia had become increasingly indignant in the weeks following the New Years Eve incident and subsequent cancellation of our meeting, now she was sounding increasingly desperate. It was my opinion and I expressed this to Natalia, that this was not because she feared my reaction, but because she appeared to fear the wrath of Margarita Naumenko. Once again, she denied this, claiming that she did not want to cause “problems for Margarita”, but I felt it was more than that, because her concern was palpable.

I told Natalia that even if she was denying that she personally made any money from our communications (something I didn’t believe then and don’t believe now), it was evident that her Agency Director, Margarita Naumenko had profited from this deception and I considered this fact to be both unacceptable, immoral and distasteful. Natalia could not see the logic in this. I went on to explain that Margarita Naumenko facilitated the setting up of this fake profile and even when it was clear that the fake identity was generating a substantial income as a result of our daily chats and regular letters, she did nothing to discourage or curtail it. Not only that, but as “Kristina”, Natalia had admitted to me that she had been communicating with other men, something that clearly belied the claim that the profile was set up for love and not profit. I made clear to Natalia that I was not convinced by her “love” argument and that I was disgusted that Margarita Naumenko had profited from what was a deliberate and cruel deception that last for more than 7 months.

Natalia begged me not to create a problem with Jump4Love and said that she would immediately remove all 3 profiles, her own, that of Kristina and also the one she was controlling for her friend, Olga.  I told her that I was prepared to allow matters to remain ‘local’ provided Margarita paid full restitution for my losses which I estimated at around $35,ooo, the profiles were removed immediately, I received a written apology from Margarita Naumenko and a written undertaking from Natalia that she would remove all real and fake profiles from all websites that she was registered on and an agreement that she would never again use a similar dating or marriage website. Natalia was happy to accept my conditions and I agreed that I would write to Margarita Naumenko outlining my claim against her.

Natalia said that she would speak to Margarita Naumenko and that she was sure she would not want any “problems”. I asked Natalia to make clear to Margarita that in my opinion, making money out of a deception that she had personally facilitated could, in my view, be constituted as a case of fraud and that I was seriously considering making a formal complaint to the Police. Natalia agreed to pass on my sentiments.

In the interim, Natalia was keen that we should remain in contact and I agreed to this, provided such communications were outside Jump4Love.

I will provide more details of my communications with Agency Director, Margarita Naumenko in my next posting.