Dating Site Fraud and Green Card Scams

Marriage Green Card Scams

As a Las Vegas green card lawyer, I know from experience that the issues of green card scams and dating site fraud are of serious concern to US citizens and foreign nationals. The issue may arise in the context of a marriage green card or k1 visa matter. Today online dating is growing in popularity.  Many people date women and men online with great success. But dating site fraud is often a concern in meeting persons online especially when those persons are foreign nationals.

Many lonely hearts have been targeted by foreign nationals, fraudulently professing love and romantic interest. These romance scams involve:

  1. A green card (a fast way to the United States) –  the foreigner will pretend to be in love with  the US citizen but will abandon the US citizen after he has received a green card or make himself so awful that the US citizen will leave him after the green card.
  2. Money – the foreign national appears as if he or she desires a life with the US citizen but the US citizen must pay usually by wiring money overseas.

Because the internet allows people to correspond anonymously U.S. citizens cannot be sure of the real name, age, marital status, nationality, or even gender of men or women with whom they correspond online.

The cost of romance scams

The cost of romance scams can run into tens of thousands of dollars and include:

1 . Remittance money

2. Travel expenses – to meet the scammer and for the scammer to come to the United States.

3. Immigration filing fees and attorney’s fee

5. Support for the scammer while in the United States – food, clothing, shelter, travel, gifts etc..

You will also be responsible to pay back any money that the scammer received from certain public assistance, even after the scammer has left you. Romance scams could also result in long term damage to your credit rating as some victims have taken out lines of credit or refinanced their homes to help the scammer. More than losing all your money, the biggest loss of all could be the loss of self-esteem that results from being a victim of a romance scam.

dating site fraud

How to Spot Dating Site Fraud – Nine (9) things to look for!

  1. Quick expressions of love – The person quickly expresses love and a desire to get sexual – watch out for the eye-popping video webcam show!
  2. The person quickly tries to move the relationship from a monitored site to a personal email account.
  3. Requests for money – even though you have never met face to face
  4. Restrictions about when and how you can contact them
  5. Replies that are short or long and vague. Poor grammar and wrongly spelled words.
  6. More requests for money – This cannot be emphasized enough. The person’s luck is incredibly bad – he or she is in a car crash, or arrested, or mugged, or beaten, or hospitalized. Close family members are dead or unable to assist. The request may involve a wish for internet service at home to speak with you more privately or to pay a phone bill so she can continue calling you. They may also involve stories about him being robbed while on a trip to a foreign country or extortion by corrupt officials for him to get traveling documents.
  7. Expensive tastes – seeking the glamorous life.
  8. Profile pictures – The photo appears to have been taken at a professional modeling agency or photographic studio.
  9. You have sent money for visas or plane tickets, but the foreign national can’t seem to make it to his destinations, citing detention by immigration officials, or other unexpected reasons that prevents him from traveling.

How to avoid becoming a victim of romance scams and dating site fraud

  1. Educate yourself about dating site fraud
  2. Use dating sites that are registered U.S, businesses with real customer reviews
  3. Try to have an in-depth conversation with the person
  4. Do not send money for ANY reason to someone you meet online and have not got to know well and in person.
  5. Report suspected dating site fraud immediately to the site administrators and to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center
  6. Verify if the person’s visa is authentic – ask to see a picture of the visa. The State Department Fraud Prevention Unit can verify the authenticity of any U.S. visa via e-mail at FPMM@state.gov.
  7. End all communication.

Online dating is not just for lonely hearts

In the age of social networking online dating is very popular and no longer has the social taboo it once did. A growing number of Americans have used the internet to find great matches in the United States or overseas. With proper precautions against dating site fraud and an open heart online dating is a great way to meet trusted and compatible singles, start interesting conversations and find romance. However trusts your instincts and seek legal advice before marrying abroad or filing a fiance visa petition for anyone who is not a US citizen.

Government Resources for more information

Dating Site Scams Embassy of the United States, Moscow Russia

Marriage/Dating Scams Embassy of the United States, Kyiv, Ukraine

Romance Scams Embassy of the United States, Accra Ghana

Online Dating and Romance Scams U.S. State Department

FBI Internet Fraud Complaint Center

 Love Fraud and How to Avoid it by Donna Anderson Author of Lovefraud.com

The American Fiance Visa Petition

K1 visa requirements

The K1 visa process begins when a US citizen files form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a foreign fiance. The petition must be filed and approved before a Consulate can issue a K1 visa to the alien fiance.

Under Section 214(d)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, for the Department of Homeland Security to accept the request, the citizen fiance must prove that the parties:
1. have previously met in person within two years before the date of filing the petition,
2. have a genuine intention to marry, and
3. are legally able and willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States within a period of ninety days of the admission to the United States of the foreign national fiance in K1 status.

If the petitioner has a conviction or had a restraining order issued against him concerning certain specified crimes, he must obtain a waiver from the Secretary of Homeland Security the K1 petition can be approved.

 

K1-Visas-family-green-card

What are the specified crimes – K1 visa petition?

The specified crimes are following:
(i) Domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, dating violence, elder abuse, and stalking, or an attempt to commit any such crime.
(ii) Homicide, murder, manslaughter, rape, abusive sexual contact, sexual exploitation, incest, torture, trafficking, peonage, holding hostage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, false imprisonment, or an attempt to commit any of the crimes described in this clause.
(iii) At least three convictions for offenses related to a controlled substance or alcohol not arising from a single act.

A waiver is unlikely to be approved if the petitioner has a record of violent criminal offenses against a person.

Supporting documents for the K1 visa petition

You should submit the completed I-129F petition should with proof of your US citizenship, certified copies of all court and police records if you have a conviction for certain crimes, the marital history of you and your fiance the I-129F filing fee and other required documentation. You may need to request a waiver if you have convictions for certain crimes or you made multiple filings. A petitioner who is not in the United States may execute the petition before the United States consular or an immigration officer for forwarding to the Stateside Service office having jurisdiction for adjudication.

Remember that k1 petition is just the first step in the k1 visa process. An approved petition is not a visa. However, if the request is approved, your fiancé will then apply for a k1 visa and attend an interview at a US embassy or consulate. The interview must take place while the petition is still valid. The petition is valid for four months but may be re-validated for extra four-month periods for a good cause, if you still intend to marry. When your fiancé comes to the United States, and you get married within the ninety days period following her admission your fiance will then apply for adjustment of status (a green card) and work authorization.

Consult a K1 visa lawyer for best results

The K1 visa process can get complicated and confusing. To understand k-1 visas and to protect your interests, consult an experienced K1 visa lawyer. If you have any questions about k1 visa requirements, family green cards or more, call us at 702-423-2721 to schedule a consultation with our Las Vegas attorney.