Yesterday, I received an email with the rather jarring greeting “Hello foreigner”. The email claims to be from Svetlana, an “elegant and educated girl” who works as a doctor in Moscow. Apparently, Svetlana is deeply fascinated by foreign countries, their culture and languages and is in search of a “decent and straight-forward gentleman” to become her life partner.
Supposedly, to connect with Svetlana and thousands of like-minded women from Russia, all I need to do is click a link. The message promises that clicking will change my life forever.
But, alas, the link opens a very dodgy Russian “dating” website that wants you to provide your personal details on an initial sign up form. Later in the process, it will try to entice you to create a paid subscription to find Svetlana and thousands of other single girls.
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Of course, online dating is now mainstream and there are many perfectly legitimate dating websites that can help people to connect to potential life-partners.
And, of course, any company unscrupulous and unethical enough to use spam campaigns and deliberate lies to promote themselves should not be trusted with so much as your name, let alone your credit card details.
A transcript of the spam email:
How do you feel today? I wish that you have the most wonderful day of your life today.
I am Svetlana, an elegant and educated girl from Russia. I am a middle-class girl who works as a doctor in one of the pediatric hospitals of Moscow.
You may be surprised when I say that a Doctor is from middle class society.
Yes doctors may not be that rich in Russia when compared to the US or Western Europe,
but we live a decent life and you may say we belong to upper middle class.
Well I like to be straight-forward in life and so I want to tell you that I am in search of my life partner from among foreigners or westerners as
I am deeply fascinated by foreign countries, their culture and languages.
I am in search of a decent and straight-forward gentleman who is fed up of life without a suitable life partner and is bored of solitude just like me
then you should surely join this website where you can find me and thousands of like-minded women form Russia and Eastern Europe!!!
Why waste your time further? Click here and change your life forever!!!
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!