Russian women represent a large percentage of the international dating and mail-order bride business. In some cases, women may misrepresent themselves in order to obtain cash via online chat rooms and services. Some women extort money from potential suitors during in-person dates, according to the Guardian.
Although there are women who participate in these services from many countries, Anastasia International is one of the largest international marriage brokers and focuses on romantic introductions to Russian women. Marriage brokers and international dating sites charge fees for their services. Service costs include site membership, fees for communicating with the women on the site, translation fees and all costs associated with traveling to the desired country, as Salon explains. International dating scams also use American dating sites to defraud consumers. Individuals claiming to be Russian women create fake profiles to engage with and create online relationships with American men. These individuals may ask the victim for money to pay for visas or for airfare to visit the victim in America. Once the money has been sent, the scammer ceases communication with the victim. Russia's lax law enforcement, combined with geographical and language barriers, makes catching criminals engaged in this behavior difficult, as reported by the New York Times.