the-ugly-truth-about-ppl-dating-sitesBrachka, also known as pay per letter dating (PPL) is a big business in the former Soviet Union republic, with thousands of Ukrainian women spending nights chatting with foreign men online. Due to the time difference between Ukraine and the USA, the largest consumer of Internet dating services promising to introduce a loving Ukrainian wife to lonely American males, the working shift starts at 18.00 and ends when customers go to bed on the other side of the Atlantic.

Some sources estimate the scale of PPL operations at over 100 million US dollars a year. Practices of PPL dating sites listing Ukrainian women are no secret: you must pay for every letter, chat, or minute of communication, much alike phone sex services advertised on the last pages of male magazines. But wait, there is more: you can also send gifts and flowers, and the agency will help you organize your visit to meet your dream bride.

  • How real is that?
  • Who are these women spending nights typing on the computer?
  • Are Ukrainian girls actually that desperate to escape harsh realities that they will happily marry a man 20-30 years older, regardless of his looks and social status?

The answers are there in plain sight

ppl-dating-sites-for-ukrainian-womenSimply enter “marriage agency work” in Russian (работа брачное агентство) into the search panel and you will find hundreds of current job listings, advertising vacancies for “models” and female “translators”, mostly in Ukraine. Use an online translating program, and the ugly truth about PPL dating sites is staring you in the face.

If this makes you sick in your stomach, you are not alone: I thought I knew everything about this industry, but even I was shocked by the horrific reality of PPL hydra.

Some ads may seem like it’s a legitimate job of interpreting correspondence for a dating agency’s clients, while others don’t even attempt to mask the essence of the job. An ad placed on the site trud.com says the following:

Marriage agency requires models and translators

Description:

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Ad on trud.com (click to enlarge)

We are seeking attractive girls, preferably of model appearance, for cooperation with our agency and receiving stable income. The work is simple, nothing difficult. The essence of the work is to correspond with foreign men on a dating site (no intimacy!). The foreigner pays to the site-company to use the services of the marriage agency, i.e. has the ability to communicate with the most beautiful girls in the world! 1. If you know English or can use Google-translator, and ready to work — we register you on the site and fast forward;)). Further everything is as usual — simple correspondence, chat. Payment once a month. 2. If you are not ready to work — a translator will be working instead of you. With that you will be getting 10% + gifts made by the foreigner. And it’s a frequent practice! I.e. you are not working but still receiving money! Men like to send gifts, starting from flowers, Iphones, tablets, photo cameras, and ending with precious stone jewellery. Girls who work earn from 300 to 3000 dollars a month! You can work anywhere in the world! Trust us, the work is interesting and profitable. You can simply give it a try, it doesn’t oblige you to anything. Confidentiality is guaranteed! If you don’t like it, you can leave, which I doubt;) With all questions, call or write to the email address here!!!

Many online ads give names of the dating sites that run PPL schemes, where the girls will be writing letters and chatting (see screenshots at the bottom).

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Results for query “работа брачное агентство”

The number of vacancies is staggering: from 39 to 271 companies seek to hire young Ukrainian women to pose as “brides” wanting to marry foreign men, and translators, who will be corresponding with guys instead of pretty girls. Most ads seek translators with experience of working for PPL sites. But if you are a female, you can get a job at a marriage agency anyway. Pose as a bride, correspond using online translators, or rent out your profile to someone else to operate for a cut of income from pay per letter.

“You can work anywhere in the world”, ads promise. Fast typing, creative imagination, and perseverance are listed as necessary skills to generate an excellent personal income.

Other online sources offer for purchase software programs designed to generate mails and chat invitations on PPL sites: “When the site is unresponsive and sending letters is impossible without nerves, the program sends them easily. 600 people in about 1,5-2 hours! It finds new clients by itself, the ones who are online now and sends them an invitation letter to communicate.” “The girl’s database will accumulate up to 200-300 people within 1-2 months”, one ad promised.

But there are not enough female interpreters to correspond with foreign men, so some agencies also employ male-translators to write letters and chat posing as pretty girls. According to forum posts, if a foreigner after chatting wants to see the girl on camera, the male translator has to urgently telephone the woman in the pictures, asking her to connect to the video chat. Both models and substitutes receive a cut from the money men pay.

Scammers scammed

Dig more, and you will find forums where “translators” complain about unscrupulous operators, who lure them with promises of great earnings but in reality pay only $0.50 per letter and $2/hour for chat. Some substitutes list names of marriage agency owners who make them work for 2-3 months without pay, explaining it by problems at the bank and limits on transactions.

One woman posted a warning on a social networking site, saying the owner of the agency she had been working for didn’t pay her and other translators 18-20 thousand hryvnia each (about $860-950) for a several months work. She complained about delivering the work and being scammed out of her pay. “Initially he enters your trust, tells how good and honest he is, pays the first salary, and then doesn’t pay for several months.” “Do not get involved with this scum. … I got scammed and was left hungry!” she tried to warn potential job applicants.

No intimacy

It is a common complaint from men that Ukrainian women they meet through PPL sites never allow any intimacy, even as much as a kiss or holding hands. The practice became more understandable when I came across a forum post by a translator, who said it was her responsibility during meetings of Ukrainian women with foreign men to ensure there was no intimate contact, as this could cause criminal prosecution for the agency for solicitation (prostitution). This is why when foreigners come to visit their prospective brides they are surprised that a girl who was so open and affectionate in her correspondence, suddenly becomes prudish.

It seems to be the usual practice for translators who “lead” certain profiles (i.e. correspond with men instead of pretty women) to accompany girls during actual meetings, so that the lack of knowledge of their correspondence never becomes apparent.

Ethical concerns of marriage agencies’ employees

A forum posting from a woman asking about translator jobs at marriage agencies revealed that not all Ukrainian women feel comfortable pressuring foreign men into long correspondence, gifts, and visits. One lady wrote in a forum: “I am shocked that in our country Ukraine it’s a whole business, it is a crime to mislead people, I think that authorities should be looking into it.” Many posters condemn the practice saying they feel ashamed for the image that Ukrainian women get due to its notoriety, others try to defend their working for marriage agencies, insisting it’s not a scam.

One woman said she would be at ease to simply write letters and chat online under someone else’s identity, but didn’t want to list her own pictures or have actual meetings with men. Job ads seeking “translators” state that meeting men in person isn’t compulsory: if a woman desires, she can limit her involvement by online communication only.

Other translators state that they have no pity for men, who they call disgusting and despicable. “Only 20% of men are actually seeking a serious relationship, a girlfriend or a wife”, stated one agency translator, whose job is to communicate with men on behalf of the girls in photos, “50% just want sex, and 30% seek an easygoing long distance relationship.” “A decent translator will never lead astray a good man”, she tried to insist on her moral values.

Buying and selling dating profiles

If a lady has her own profile on a dating site, she can rent it out to someone else to operate, and such ads can be found in abundance online. Others offer to open an admin panel at several PPL dating sites, which would allow the client to create his or her own “marriage agency” with personnel consisting of girls-models and translators.

There is also an ad from an online entrepreneur wishing to buy dating profiles for 1,000 hryvnia (about $47) each but only of “really beautiful girls”. Another poster offers to find personnel for a new PPL business, while the third lists for sale a “good client base of real girls” for already operating agencies. “25% for us and 75% for you”, invites an advertiser offering to rent out existing admin panels with already completed and approved profiles on known pay per letter sites, or you can rent a clean one for only 10% of it’s future turnover.

How much Ukrainian women earn as brides and translators

The average salary in Ukraine today is about US $200-300 a month, which dropped significantly in the last year from the previous amounts of US $500-800 a month due to the armed conflict in the country and subsequent economic crisis.

Ads about vacancies at marriage agencies promise income up to $3000/month but this is only possible with additions of gifts (which women may elect to receive as cash), as the regular payment to a translator is only about $0.50-0.75 per letter and $2-3/hour for online chat. Accompanying a girl to meetings with a foreign man during his visit gets translator about $5/hour plus free meals.

How PPL dating sites’ earnings are divided:

  • The listing PPL dating site where men pay per letter gets the largest cut.
  • A local marriage agency’s owner gets commissions from the listing site only when guys correspond, chat with, and send gifts to “his” girls.
  • The owner of the local agency pays to his staff: models (the girls in the photos) and translators (people who type letters and chats).
  • Finding fee: bring a girl-model, and earn percentage from her earnings for as long as she is with the agency. This provides an incentive for girls and translators to involve more people in the scheme, generating passive income for themselves.

Read more: What is PPL dating? — Pay-per-letter and pay-per-minute relationships

While ads lure pretty girls with promises of great income, there is no guarantee they will be getting their pay or have the ability to remove their profiles from the PPL dating site, if they decide to leave. Reports of Ukrainian agencies continuing to use profiles of women long after they are married are plentiful.

Percentages offered by agency owners vary, with some operators promising to pay translators up to 70% of income they generate. “But you are only paid if a man opens your letter”, complained a translator-substitute. Another warned, “it’s all unofficial”. Another substitute tried to find out how much others earned, angrily saying that she didn’t want to be a “goof” and make the agency rich while “tearing off [her] eyes”. “I think I am badly done with my salary”, she complained.

Checking various sources, it appears that a substitute-translator earns about $500/month, with the requirement of working 8 hours/day constantly chatting online, plus 16-hour shifts on weekends. If a girl does her own typing and is skilled at soliciting gifts, her income may be significantly higher.

If a translator only works 3-4 hours, they may earn around $300 a month. Most participants of the scheme agree it takes time to develop long-term connections and find generous suitors for a girl’s profile. Employers and employees of the PPL schemes are unanimous, “You need perseverance and be prepared to work hard”.

A married Ukrainian woman wrote about her experience of working as a translator for a marriage agency chatting to men: “This money really helped me to live for half a year when my husband was away working… I am on maternity leave right now.” She stated once she got paid real cash, her initial disgust with the job disappeared. “Many of them [foreign men] are so insecure, they simply need to talk to someone,” her post said.

Real marriages

Are there any real Ukrainian women seeking marriage to foreign men? Yes, but they usually already speak English, and don’t need PPL and their complex structures to find men. It also seems to be a common occurrence when translators working for PPL dating sites get married to foreign men who visit Ukraine.

Which makes it clear once again — only direct contact can result in a real relationship and connection. If you want to be sure that the person indeed likes you and not just trying to earn money by talking to you online, get her direct email and phone number, and chat on Skype, it’s free.

ppl-datingRead also:

Actual screenshots from websites and forums taken on 16 April 2015

There is nothing secret, special, or unusual about these posts and ads. Run a search for the key phrase “работа брачное агентство” (marriage agency work) and you will find these pages. Once you have found them, use an online translator to translate Russian texts into English (or any other language). Today’s online translators are pretty good. They may not be perfect, but they do convey the meaning quite well.

Each screenshot here has an English translation on the left. I made the translations, they may not be ideal. I tried to keep the texts as close to the originals as possible, so it’s basically a literal translation. It doesn’t mean that all these posts are 100% truthful. People may have different intentions making certain types of comments, such as trying to get potential employees to sign up, posing as a successful PPL operator for a certain employer.

elena-petrova-ppl-articleDo your own search and make your own conclusions. Go and read the actual posts that are out there right now, you don’t have to believe my word. I trust you are smart enough.

Thanks for reading, and I hope it helps.

Elena Petrova
Founder, Elena’s Models

 

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Shaun Walker (The Guardian): “The men pay for every minute they chat online to a woman, something that it becomes clear is a dangerous part of the business model”.

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Cara
Guest

Elena, you are right about such jobs (((
I found out about this type of work just last month when I had applied to a couple of such agencies.
After they explained me the essence of the work I felt disgusted and, of course, refused..

But there are some girls who do such job with pleasure because they receive money, even not much, and some gifts..

Zarethuza
Guest
An excellent article and exposé, Elena… Thank you for taking the obviously extensive time to research and reveal the extent of this side of the industry – about which you have evidently learned so much. Having personally been around the block a few times, I was lucky to never actually get caught in any of these “systems”: it always was relatively easy to recognise the “scammers” when they answered a letter filled with non sequiturs in response to legitimate follow-up questions having devolved from the first contact. However, having also lived both in the ‘States and Australia, I am very… Read more »
Melvin Tate
Guest
This is a very impressive blog Elena. You did a nice job of breaking down how a PPL really works. Unfortunately, I am on one of those sites and feel like I’ve wasted money there. Because I don’t have a high-salaried job, every time I spend money on anything, I expect to get decent to good value and I really haven’t gotten it with a PPL site. That’s valuable money I’ve thrown away. I’m glad I’m here on your site now, I just wish I had joined before registering with the PPL site I’m on now. With a PPL site,… Read more »
Kim Nguyen
Guest

You can test the site yourself, create a profile without a photo. As soon as you visit the site ( within 1 minute of sign in ) even at 2 or 3 AM Ukraine or Russia time, there will be beautiful girls want to “chat” with you! Imagine that, in the middle of the night and quite a few beautiful girls are “interested” in you even they don’t know how you look like?

Henk
Guest

I tried that once. Of course, I just filled some nonsense in the sign up form; so I was an Asian guy from rural Zimbabwe, with a length of 140cm and weighing 120kgs, I had red eyes and white hair, and my job was scrubbing floors. Within an hour there were five beautiful girls wanting to chat with me… They must be really desperate! 😛

Zade ringer
Guest

Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing this.

Dan
Guest

Greetings,

I have had several people attempt to pull me from this website to another where I had to pay per letter. My suspicions got the better of me. With email, Skype and mobile phones there is no need for these pay per letter sites! Thanks for confirming my suspicions, still looking for the one!

Dan

Paul
Guest

Hi-it just goes to show that as with everything else it pays dividend to go with an established dating site like this one where you don’t exactly have an absolute guarantee of the fact that the girls you are speaking to are genuine but you can be pretty sure by an large. It pays to use a trusted site that is looking out for the best interests of those who register on both sides of the coin

Tatyana
Guest

There are great many schemas which crooks use and the one described here may frustrate those who looked for serious relationships in Russia or Ukraine and make them stop looking for their soulmates. It’s really disappointing. I also among those who heard about the schema for the first time. And think the article very useful.

Jose
Guest
Elena is spot on! Good thing I done profound amount of research about how to approach these dating sites, I agree especially how quickly technology has moved around the country and yes services like email, Skype, online translator are free should be integrated in some way into these websites along with if direct communication is allowed, monthly flat fee vs charges per letter, etc. To summarize a little experience of mine and thank God I didn’t go forward; otherwise, I would have wasted a lot of money: I created a profile on [URL removed] (free – but scammers do exist)… Read more »
Joel
Guest

Elenas is the gold standard in online Russian dating sites. I’ve tried a few, and I’ve always come running back to Elenas. The girls are real and they do a good job of communicating with customers.

Mark L
Guest
I had similar experience on another membership website where a girl from Poltava, Ukraine contacted me and we wrote back and forth for a while. She seemed genuine and I was interested. Then all of a sudden her computer had an issue and she was going to have to take it in for a repair. For a few days she wrote from an internet cafe (so she claimed) A few days later she wrote that she noticed an agency that’s on her way home from work and decided to join; it would be easier for us to communicate. Then next… Read more »
Josan
Guest

Hi Elena! Congrats for your solid info. Yet, do you state that all girls in PPL are scammers? Including over 45? I’ve just spotted an elder pretty lady who’s a popular feature on your site and she is in a couple of PPL sites as well. One of them with the worst reputation ever. What do you think? Thanks in advance

Neeuq Kram
Guest
I really don’t get how EM is supposedly different whereas a woman sends you an EOI or message and you have to pay to access it. I’ve even paid to read messages before that all they said were “Hi”, you write back and nothing. Can totally understand if it is the guy doing the messaging and that is who you make your money off. Have carried on correspondenses with women here who are writing almost perfect English. They won’t directly answer questions and when you call them on it they start with ultimatums. You say “let’s meet” and the next… Read more »
neeuq kram
Guest
Ahhh… attack the messenger and turn it around! Typical… Is there something in the water when you girls are growing up? My personal situation and the particulars of why I haven’t found my ‘one and only’ are just that: personal. It isn’t for lack of effort or just spending money nor being dumb and cheap on my part. I’m also not unattractive or unreasonable in my behaviour. The thing is I HAVE bought various levels of membership over the years. Maybe some need a shotgun approach to ‘improve their odds’, but my experience has shown the girls know that is… Read more »
Mark L
Guest
I’ve been back on this site for about 4 months now, and even though I am not very active I have no complaints. For me the Gold membership is more than enough because I cannot imagine trying to make contact with 50 women in a 3 month time span. I have made a connection with a few and overall find these ladies genuine. Yes there was one confirmed scammer with which I communicated via email. She was caught by the website and her profile deleted. One lady only responded 2 times and vanished. Another broke off contact after about a… Read more »
Yelena
Guest

This is definitely very important and useful information, especially for men from EU and USA. I only have a small question. Why it relates only to Ukraine. Is Russia or Belarus doesn’t exist anymore? This is quite popular business in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, isn’t it.

Irina
Guest
And the situation is even more disgusting. I can tell about my own experiense of being cheated as a woman. Some two years ago or so when it just came to my mind to try internet dating, and I knew nothing about the business, I addressed one Ukrainian dating agency which promised to place and verify my data on the two well-known international dating sites. I agreed, and I gave them my photos and information about myself including even passport data (so serious they pretended to be in their attempts “to save foreign men from indecent women” 😉 ). And… Read more »
Richard
Guest
Hi Elena I have been on Ukraine brides agency for a couple of months & have had long communication with 2 lady’s both of them have exchanged contact details with me, one of them has a laptop & a smart phone so we communicate on Skype & what’s app but the other lady says she doesn’t have a laptop & her phone isn’t a smart phone, I video chat with her on the site & she’s very open & seems very honest & truthful, she introduces me to her friends & family during the chats & sends pictures of her… Read more »
Steven Raposo
Guest
I must comment on this topic. I met someone on this website, and we began to correspond and within 3 months we met. THe chemistry was amazing. After 3 months of emailing and skyping, I felt that we truly established a foundation with the relationship, and so when we met I felt that we knew each other. The relationship did not work out, but I learned a tremendous amount from the experience. Now fast forward to the next experience. This time is was with a really flashy high end site that charged for the letter and charged for video chatting.… Read more »
Julia
Guest
It is a pity but I used to work like a translator on such web-site. I don’t really want to write there name. I left the job very fast because it was unbearable. Women didn’t want to talk to me and answer letters – I had to write letters myself. There were a lot of old men and they wrote in the first letter to 18-years old girls – “Will you have sex with me on our first meeting?” I also had a woman for whom I translated letters – she even couldn’t change her profile photo for 5 years.… Read more »
Robert
Guest
Elena, thanks for the education on the PPL sites. Any man wanting to meet Eastern European, Ukrainian or Russian women should do a lot of preliminary research on agencies with a good search engine like Google or Yandex. Eventually they will end up at a reputable site like this one. I would also encourage guys to create a profile on VKontakte (the Russian equivalent of Facebook). Check out the groups and you will find some of the scammer agencies and their recruiting groups. Also lots of links to good information from that part of the world. Remember: “If it seems… Read more »
Dana Ricardo
Guest
Hi Robert, Thanks for your contribution in this important discussion. I really need your advice on a situation that I am in atm. I am exchanging correspondence with a lady on one of the Ukrainian dating website (a PPL system). We starred to communicate positively but when she realised that I ve stepped forward quite quickly, ever since she has started to step back a bit…..etc. However, I managed to find her on the vk social media and ever since I ve been sending her letters English and getting them translated into Russian, but haven’t had replies from her until… Read more »
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