Police vehicles arrived to the headquarters of the hosting company where servers of a famous PPL site were located. The servers had been seized. At the same time, administrative offices were searched and managers detained for questioning.
This is how a report on demise of deceptive pay-per-letter “bait-and-switch” schemes could begin.
Did I get your attention? This moment may indeed happen, if you wish to make it a reality. Even though right now you may think that PPL is a Goliath and you are just a person, keep reading and you will realize it’s a giant with feet of clay.
Make sure you check the information through the links in the article to get the full picture.
PPL troll factories at a glance
- PPL stands for “pay per letter”—a system of communication on “dating” sites where users are charged for every message they send or receive through a system of “credits”.
- The largest PPL company claimed having 1.3 million users and 500 agents that provide content (messages, chats), for which they are paid.
- PPL trolls are paid for content they produce from the money paid by Americans. Thousands of Americans are targeted by PPL troll factories daily, even this minute. PPL trolls use custom-made chat bots and each troll is able to reach 300-1000 users daily.
- According to insiders, PPL industry turnover exceeds USD 200 million annually.
- It’s estimated over 30,000 people are employed in Eastern Europe by agents of PPL companies.
Keep reading to get the full picture of the shockingly straightforward structure responsible for PPL scams.
3-year anniversary of my first investigation into predatory practices of PPL sites—and the scams keep operating with authorities turning a blind eye
My last article about PPL attracted big interest from readers. My point that PPL websites lead men to immigration fraud got a lot of comments.
However, some of these comments and questions seem rather odd. “Are there any marriages that occur after meeting on PPL sites?” some commentators asked, as if trying to legitimize these scam-ridden multi-layered structures using deceptive trade practices, which the law defines as commercial fraud.
Not sure what agenda these commentators pursue, but it’s worth answering properly. Especially because it’s a big anniversary today.
It was exactly 3 years ago that I published my first investigation into PPL scams: The ugly truth about pay-per-letter dating sites for Ukrainian women.
A 3-year-old child by now would learn to walk and talk, and this would be the age when he started asking lots of questions. It’s time for us to do the same and change the tactics of how we go about the continuous fraud on PPL sites that have turned into Internet troll factories.
Similar to the Russian troll farms recently indicted in the USA, where paid writers pretended to be Americans commenting on political news while striving to stir USA citizens to a certain viewpoint, PPL systems are built on purposeful deception. Just this time the trolls are not paid for writing political commentary but for crafting believable love confessions—and they are paid by Americans themselves.
“Love trolls” are making good money in today’s online environment where pay-per-letter sites dominate sponsored ads on Google and content networks.
Personal message from Elena Petrova
It would be fair to say that owners of PPL sites face real prospects of being questioned by federal investigators in the near future and fined for millions for aiding fraud (just like Western Union recently had to pay 586 million dollars).
After 3 years, one would expect that by now these problems would have been eliminated by PPL sites, but they are still running the same schemes with commission-based payments to providers of chats, letters and photos, which are the cause of the fraud.
You cannot pay people for the amount of mails and chats and expect that the scams, which are rampant as the evidence shows, will suddenly stop. You have to make scams impossible. Which means, you need to change the system. Make it pointless to scam. So, if payments for mails and chats are the cause of scams, you need to remove these payments. Then the PPL scams will stop in an instant.
You don’t need to be a genius like Stephen Hawking or Elon Musk to understand it. It’s an easy fix. Definitely realistic within a 3-year time frame.
But instead of fixing problems with impersonators and fake brides on their sites, PPL industry went into total denial and pulled all the levers to hide it better. In other words, went on a crusade to fight people who are telling about corruption in their systems, rather than on a crusade against corruption.
They had 3 years (in fact, much longer) to absolutely remove such issues as paid impersonators and fake “brides”, and they miserably and utterly failed.
Now it’s time to stop just talking about it but take a definitive action and involve authorities, because it’s pretty obvious, PPL companies won’t fix the problems themselves.
Websites have been prosecuted before and owners arrested for fake profiles and false dating schemes. It’s clear that the days of the PPL industry are counted, as its failure to self-regulate is outrageous.
PPL owners may think they are invincible, but of course they are not. After the fallout of Harvey Weinstein and court cases against sexual predators within Catholic Church (as well as the Church itself for failing its duty of care such as the Royal Commission in Australia investigating institutional abuse, so masterfully depicted in 2016 Oscar winner ‘Spotlight‘), there are no perpetrators or organized cover-ups that are safe from scrutiny. And once the scrutiny starts, PPL structures will tumble down like a house of cards.
So, this article is NOT for Elena’s Models members. This article is for owners and agents of PPL sites.
I am writing it for you, agents and owners of PPL sites, who try to say that they are somehow “better” than most blatant and infamous pay-per-letter frauds.
This is a fairly long article and if you don’t like lengthy texts, simply skip to the end where I answer the question whether there are any marriages that originate through PPL websites. Or save it to read later when you have time.
Let’s settle it once and for all, shall we?
Telling the truth about crimes is not wrong; it’s wrong to organize schemes harboring fraud
I have been accused multiple times by PPL sites and their fake commentators (aka “trolls”) that post false comments on forums and review websites, that we (Elena’s Models) are doing “unfair” competition and saying bad things about paid communication schemes in order to promote our service.
To make it clear, my purpose of exposing PPL fraud is cleaning up the industry where I work. It’s not to gain advantage for myself or my company, but to have a level playing field for genuine love seekers, who are now outperformed by fraudsters that are being paid to date, and put a stop to the multi-layered corruption that is affecting the dating culture of whole countries. PPL would love to spread its influence even further and this corruption needs to stop.
They are already trying to corrupt women in the countries of European Union, offering them “money for nothing” in exchange for use of their data in the online dating fraud.
We are talking cultural change on a national scale here. This is what PPL creating, and it’s not going to stop on just one country, Ukraine, which is already irreversibly affected, unless there is a permanent legislative block. Just follow the links in this article and read, including all the comments from men who got scammed. People simply do not understand the extent of the decay PPL causes.
PPL scams are NOT isolated incidents, they are the product of the system
PPL adepts purport that scams are just isolated incidents. No, scams are the system in PPL.
It’s genuine people that are unlikely incidents among the scores of fake “brides” and impersonators. Keep reading and I will explain how easy it’s to confirm that scams are the rule in the industry of paid communication.
You too may think, “It can’t be that bad. They wouldn’t be able to get away with it for so long.” It is precisely that they were getting away with it for so long (over 10 years) that the situation wish scams became so bad.
Whistle-blowers had been reporting on PPL scams already in 2006. Because nothing had been happening to PPL sites, they just went ahead at full throttle.
I had never got involved in what my competitors did until I found myself viciously attacked by a famous company owning a score of dating websites and their “couldn’t care less” attitude (more about it later) five years ago (2013). From that point on it became obvious that these sites were using some grossly vile tactics without remorse. This piqued my curiosity, and it’s only then I began investigating what other players in my industry were doing and discovered some pretty shocking facts.
As an honest citizen and a professional, it was my duty to report, just like Catholic priests had a duty to report on sexual predators among their own that they knew about for years and stop the horror that victims were thrown into. If you were a Catholic cleric in 1990s and you found out that another priest was molesting kids, would you just think, “It’s none of my business, I don’t want to be seen unfairly competing” — or would you speak up to protect the victims?
As there were thousands of victims of sexual abuse that Catholic church as the organization was hiding for years, as shown in the Oscar-winning revelation movie Spotlight, there are tens of thousands of victims of PPL scams. They suffer not only financial but also devastating psychological damages. And their voice is still unheard by the media and federal agencies. This is why I am speaking up, to stop devastation and corruption from spreading further, and I can see that for the last 3 years PPL keeps expanding its tentacles and putting more effort into silencing victims and low-level implementers.
Telling the truth about crimes is not wrong. It’s wrong to organize schemes that profit from fraud. Get it right in your head, PPL cheats.
Challenge for PPL companies
So, I am offering PPL sites a challenge.
- Let’s call legitimate media representatives and computer experts.
- Elena’s Models will open its books, database and computer code, and your representative can come and check with journalists that our service operates exactly as we describe: Women upload their profiles without agents and communicate with men without mediators, and they are not paid for that.
- Then you open your books and I will tell computer experts and reporters what to look for and check.
- Then we will allow experts to make a conclusion, whether your website is legitimate and free from fraud, and the same conclusion about Elena’s Models.
In fact, we are ready to open our books, databases, computer code to any legitimate media representatives or federal agency, regardless of whether PPL sites wish to do the same. We have been offering it for years.
So far no one took the challenge.
If you believe that there are no scams on your website, take the challenge. Put your actions where your advertising is.
In the article ‘PPL is immigration fraud‘ I stated clearly that if any PPL site wants to claim that they are immune to fraud, I am happy to come in the company of media or consumer affairs representatives and point out how the scams are actually operated.
I firmly believe that if you claim there are no scams on your PPL website (or that you “cannot” find them), then you are either a blatant liar or very naive.
I believe it’s the former, but if you genuinely think your agents who get commissions for letters, chats, and gift deliveries are clean, then you have nothing to worry about.
And if you are as concerned about a fraud-free environment as you try to convince your clients, then you would be very happy if someone shows you how to identify problems on your website, right?
Take the challenge.
If you do not wish to take the challenge, then you know there are scams on your website and prefer to close your eyes on the fraud, so you can keep making money.
I don’t care what “reasons” you wish to put forward why the scams on your website are justified.
If you cannot make money without scamming your clients, then you should not be in this business.
If you cannot make money in a clean and honest way, as we do (once again, we are happy to open our books, databases, and computer code), then stop complaining about us being “unfair” saying that PPL is the mother of all frauds.
- It’s you who pay your “partners” commissions (a pre-agreed share of the money that you have received from your paying clients), by actually re-selling the service that your agents performed and simply taking a profit.
- You are the main benefactor of the scams. And you are deliberately closing your eyes on the fraud that is a direct result of the way your scheme is set up, in violation of consumer and commercial legislations.
I believe the PPL sites will simply say, “Why would we need to prove to someone that we are honest”, “Who is she to demand such things”, etc.
This is why I keep telling men who got scammed to complain to authorities and media, so that the PPL websites are forced to open their books and computer code. There is enough evidence online and offline about PPL scams, and right now is the perfect time to make it happen. There is a lot of interest to “troll factories”, fake messages and posts, to warrant an investigation into a multi-layered deceptive scheme that is ridden with fraud.
Stop saying that you “fight scams”.
If you want to fight scams, stop paying commissions to agents.
- The women want to get married, right?
- They are not being paid, right?
- There are no impersonators on commissions who are faking correspondence, right?
- Then what’s the problem?
The women who so much want to get married and who are, as you say, writing their own letters and chats to dozens of men for years, because of their “strong desire to get married”, will keep writing letters and chats, right?
If you truly want your website to be clean and free from fraud, then stop paying commissions to agents based on the amount of chats, letters, and photos.
You can take a corrective action now and protect your clients from fraud by paid impersonators. It will work.
Otherwise, it’s never going to be clean. Never.
Instead of eliminating fraud by agents, PPL sites fight people speaking up against scams.
In 2013 ANASTASIA INT’L, INC. filed a court case against Elena’s Models in the USA federal court claiming unfair competition and 4 other issues. ANASTASIA INT’L, INC. lost the case and got a judgement against them, required to pay attorney fees to Elena’s Models. (See the court documents.)
What made ANASTASIA INT’L, INC. file this court case?
Someone created a website accusing the company of having paid employees communicating with men on the site.
But why Elena’s Models was sued?
Apparently, because there was a link on the website to Elenasmodels.com, with a recommendation to use it as an honest service.
The owner of the domain name where allegedly “unfair” and “defaming” accusations about Anastasia were found lived in Finland and stated that he was a private individual, had no business being conducted in the USA and requested to be served in his home country. Anastasia was unable to show any other link to EM for what their own former client wrote about them (he was obviously unhappy enough to do it).
This is how one can be actually accused and prosecuted, which we have been, just for a link on a web page, which they didn’t even place.
- Follow this link and read what really happened.
Now compare this vigorous attack with how PPL sites are “unable” to find fraud and scams on their own websites, even though their agents openly advertise on Work.ua seeking to hire impersonators, with names, phone numbers, and website addresses. These agents are NOT fired or even questioned. They keep advertising for years with the same ads.
This shows that PPL companies want to silence people who warn others about the fraud, not to fix the issues on their websites.
Check all the court cases filed by Anastasia. I strongly suspect that Elena’s Models was not the only target. You may be shocked by the scale of the silencing operation. It happened not only in the courts but also online with removal of any content discussing PPL fraud from forums and review websites, as well as posting false information about competitors.
For instance, there are hundreds of posts online stating ‘David Brunner is a dirty scamming tactic by Elena’s Models’ (or Elena Petrova), insisting it’s me who is behind the posts of this guy calling himself ‘The Ugly American’ and running a Google Group. I have nothing to do with it and never had, don’t even know the guy. The amount of nearly identical online posts on this topic stating it is EM that is behind ‘David Brunner’ online persona seems to suggest that it was a paid placement by an Internet troll factory with the view to spread false rumors, hoping that something will stick.
Before the story with ‘David Brunner’, who as I understand is another whistle-blower that discovered PPL scams on his own, there was ‘Jim from AgencyScams’, who started to speak about pay-per-letter fraud already in 2006-2007 — long before I figured out how this industry operated in reality and why it was so poisonous to the whole dating environment. I had read such malicious ‘fake news’ about myself online that I was absolutely flabbergasted, how someone could be that wicked. Bear in mind that at that time I said absolutely nothing about the pay-per-letter industry and the very term ‘PPL’ was crafted by me only in 2015.
In fact, I find that most whistle-blowers are misdirecting their efforts. They often concentrate on ‘girls’ who are allegedly ‘scamming men’, and these whistle-blowers are trying to search VK (VKontakte) or Facebook pages of the women featured on PPL sites, trying to prove they have boyfriends or husbands and therefore their presence on websites of paid communication constitutes fraud. To my mind, it’s like prosecuting drug users but leaving growers and organizers of trafficking out of the picture. It is both the Master Sites and Agents who are responsible for the fraud perpetrated against trusting Americans. It is Master Sites and their structures that had been going after whistle blowers for years, trying to silence them.
It may be that there are some other unscrupulous dealings connecting PPL lords to officials that keep them looking the other way. Otherwise, how can it be explained that this giant billion-dollar fraud in PPL systems could fly under the radar of federal agencies and the justice system — and still have not been investigated — for over a decade? Are our federal agencies and commerce watchdogs that should protect citizens from unscrupulous operators and deceptive trade practices blind?
For instance, Rabota.ua, a more scrupulous employment portal in Ukraine, doesn’t allow any ads placed by any company connected with the business of dating sites or marriage agencies. Someone took an action to protect their users. We did the same when in 2015, after the investigation, put in the rule to refuse in listing to any woman whose profile is active on websites of paid communication, because the pattern of PPL fraud was constantly present. There are simple and effective options that can be implemented by a business that strives to preserve its integrity.
However, what PPL sites and their agents want to preserve is their profits. This is why they silence whistle-blowers, spread false rumors and ‘fake news’, hire trolls, and continuously mislead their customers by hiding the fact that the providers of content (chats, letters, photos, videos) are paid.
The simplest way to detect PPL scams
Fraud investigators know that there is a simple way to detect any scams: Look for abnormalities.
For instance, it’s easy to get data from any normal dating site such as eHarmony or Match.com. Graphics are done on how users communicate.
- How many letters users send daily when they join, starting from day #1.
- How many days users stay on the site.
- What is the average number of other users they talk to.
- And so on.
Then you go to a dating site like Elenasmodels.com and get the same data, build graphics. See similarities and differences, which could be due to the fact that it’s an international dating site, so users may stay on the website slightly longer, contact more people, etc. But I can assure you, in general the graphics will show similar trends to Match.com.
Then you go to a PPL website. Here, you will notice in an instant, will be no similarities with the “normal” graphics how users of dating sites communicate.
- PPL fraudsters absolutely spam men with mails — and they never stop. They are doing it always, forever, trying to get as many paid communications going as possible. They use bots for that.
- On normal dating sites users start communicating with several other members and quickly cut it down to 2-3. On PPL sites, fake “brides” keep gathering more ongoing bogus “relationships” as the time goes on.
The “normal” vs. “abnormal” pattern of communication is how we quickly pick up fraudsters on our site. I have no doubts that if there are indeed women on PPL sites who are:
- Only communicating with men they actually like;
- Writing to men themselves, without mediators;
- Are not paid to communicate;
- Are not told they have to communicate with all men who write to them indefinitely;
- Really want to find love and get married;
- Not using bots to falsify chats and mails;
Then these genuine women will show a pattern that is completely different from PPL fraud.
- Instead of sending out 400-500 mails and chat invitations daily, genuine women will struggle to find 10-15 men to contact that they like (they don’t find most of the men suitable). They may have 10-15 men they really like initially, definitely not hundreds. Most often it’s just 3-4 men that women contact at first and then they wait for days to hear from them (men don’t sit on dating sites 24/7). So, you will see a staggering difference from day #1.
- Genuine women actually prefer that men contact them first. On PPL sites, it’s usually men that get set swamped in mails and chats (predominantly from bots, more about it later). Genuine women hardly ever contact men, even when they are recommended to do it. They feel horrible about being “rejected” (getting no response or a refusal), so after contacting a few men at first they just sit and wait for mails from guys who are interested. So, there definitely won’t be hundreds of mails or chat invitations sent daily from genuine women seeking a partner for a relationship, not payment for mails and chats. Such actions can come only from paid impersonators or bots.
- Genuine women who are not paid keep quickly cutting off communications if there is something they disliked. They tell the truth about their preferences and goals, and guys, too, often decide to cut off communication, because it’s not what they want. In case of PPL fraud, it basically never happens: The communication goes on smoothly, as the men are told what they want to hear. Even the tone of communication and the words they use are completely different.
As you can see, from the first days communication patterns differ dramatically. And it’s easy to see for any investigator. The website itself has access to all the data to detect problematic patterns where communication is a scam. All that’s needed is to put in place the software that detects these typical scamming patterns (as we have done). But PPL sites keep developing new ‘skins’ under fresh URL’s, but not even attempting to monitor communication for patterns of fraud.
You know why? Because there won’t be the same profits without scams on PPL sites.
This is why on genuine dating sites, fraudsters want to get off the site a.s.a.p., so they are not detected. On PPL sites, fraudsters earn the most in commissions and cash payouts from gifts, and they can only do it by staying on the site of the provider (aka Master Site). In other words, while Nigerian fraudsters strive to take victims away from the dating sites to be able to scam them, PPL con artists can only scam men by staying within the system of the Master Site. PPL sites are effectively aiding in the fraud.
Why is there such a difference in communication patterns?
- On legitimate non-PPL dating sites users are looking for a partner.
- PPL sites are money-making machines on hopes of people to find love, with providers of content getting paid for the amount of messages, the fact that paying clients are not aware of when purchasing the service.
PPL scams are impossible to hide. The patterns are absolutely different.
If there are no such patterns on PPL sites where women behave in the way that users of normal dating sites behave (1-2-3 as explained above), then all profiles are operated by scammers.
If there are different patterns of user behavior on PPL sites, then they know which listings are scam and which are real.
In both cases, Master Sites are fully aware what is going on.
And if they don’t have mechanisms of fraud detection based on patterns of user behavior, after being criticized for pay-per-letter scams for over 10 years, then it’s purposeful (and very profitable) negligence and they are not just complicit in the scams, but actively aiding fraud by turning a blind eye.
Keep reading, I will show you how Master Sites are allowing the scams to happen.
Stages of PPL scams
PPL scams occur in stages.
Here is a breakdown how much each stage of a PPL scam is costing a user.
Remember, we are not talking about blatant fraud with totally fake “brides” and pre-recorded video chats, but only about fraudulent schemes on the websites that claim to be “genuine and really trying to help users, men and women, to get married”. This is how scams on PPL websites that consider themselves “honest” operate (the ones that say that their women “really want to get married”).
So, let’s see how much more you are paying on each stage of a fake PPL relationship, while getting way less for your money than you had been expecting.
In the very beginning, a guy is probably not looking for a “mail order bride”.
A man is simply curious or clicked on an ad on another website, promising “sweet Russian brides wanting to chat” or “sexy Eastern European singles”. “Girl will make the first move”, “No credit card required”, all this stuff. So, he simply clicks on an ad.
The guy starts browsing the website’s profiles and gets swamped in instant chat messages, where “girls” are talking to him as if he wasn’t just a stranger without a profile on the site, but someone whom they dreamed of since the high school.
- This is stage #1 of the scam: Messages come from BOTS.
You think they may be indeed from women in the photos, but they are not. In the best case scenario, messages come from human impersonators, who are paid for correspondence. (They are not paid for the first messages, but if you start writing back and forth, they will be paid.)
- In a PPL scam, this first message is NOT from an interested woman. It’s either a bot or a paid worker, who will be benefiting financially from letters. You are being scammed from the first “Hello”.
Don’t use PPL sites.
Someone on the other end is ALWAYS paid for communication on PPL sites. If you are paying for mails or chats, then the provider of the content (messages) is being paid. The commissions are being paid to the agent directly by the Master Site.
This is what happens on the second stage of the PPL scam:
- If it’s a video chat, the girl sitting in the video chat is getting paid. It may or may not be her who is typing messages at the same time. Users report that one woman may be sitting in front of a camera and several impersonators (‘translators’) are typing from her profiles. In this case, both the girl and the impersonators are being paid. This is a very popular way, because guys actually think “it’s real” if a girl is online on video. If the girl herself is typing and being on video, she is being paid. So, she is not talking to you because she likes you, but because she is paid. Again, it can be verified, if auditors look at her video chat records. No normal woman seeking a partner will perform such duties for 4-8 hours daily 5 days a week, talking to dozens of men for years. It’s a scam.
- If it’s a text chat without video, it’s an impersonator (if it was the girl herself, she would be on camera, because in this case the payment is 2 times higher).
- If it’s a letter, it’s an impersonator. This person is getting paid for every message.
You are either being scammed by the person from photos who is getting paid for talking to you (that’s her wage) while also talking to dozens of other guys, or it’s an impersonator (who is also talking to dozens of other guys under the same identity and possibly using 5-10 more identities).
Men usually pay about USD 1,000-3,000 for communication with impersonators or fake “brides” during the course of a “relationship”.
If you are following the advice of your PPL website, you are probably talking to 3 women, so your bill for the fake letters can reach $3,000-9,000 over the course of 6-18 months.
There are only 2 reasons why this communication is happening at all:
- To make you spend money on correspondence for as long as possible.
- To make you buy a tour, because you think you have an interested “bride” waiting for you in Ukraine.
In both cases the impostor or the paid “bride” pretends to have strong interest in you and will tell you exactly what you want to hear.
- You are being purposefully manipulated, so that the agents achieve their goal.
This fake communication is the largest source of income for PPL sites. It’s what makes the fraud profitable.
At the same time, you could have been a subscriber for a year on a legitimate dating site corresponding with all the women there, for the cost of this fake “relationship”, which in fact is just false love confessions created to get money from you.
If you were on a legitimate dating site, you would be talking to women themselves, who would communicate their real wishes and hopes to you, so you could actually get to know who they are. You would be also chatting on Skype (at no cost), using instant messengers like WhatsApp or Viber, and in general feeling free to communicate as much as you wish with as many women as you desire, so that you can compare, evaluate and choose, and it would cost you absolutely nothing! There is no cost for communication (letters, chats, photos, videos).
Don’t use PPL sites, if you don’t want to be scammed.
3. Your visit
Most men who get lured into PPL sites never travel to meet their virtual “brides”.
But there are several PPL websites that make money on “tours” to visit “brides”.
What these websites do, they sell you overpriced tours to meet with the “brides” you have allegedly been talking to (you were talking to an impersonator, most likely, because girls who type their own messages earn more on video chats). The tours are overpriced because of large commissions these companies pay their “affiliates” (it’s known that a popular PPL company pays US$500 commission for each tour they sell). Plus they also may pay agents to have the “bride” attend a meeting with a client who purchased a tour. This is why the cost of an organized “romance tour” through a PPL company will be always too expensive and you could visit Ukraine 2-3 times cheaper if purchased tickets and booked accommodation yourself.
The tour companies’ main attraction is the “socials” where you can meet some other “brides” (socials can be large or small), in addition to the person you have allegedly been talking to.
- Just remember that until now you haven’t probably talked to the woman from photos, who, as you were led to believe, was the first to show her interest in you and tell you “the story of her life”.
- Even if you have seen this “woman” from photos for a short time on video and it was her, the written communication (chats, letters) without the video is likely to have been impersonated. (The short “video date” assures you that “it’s for real”.)
In the scenario of the PPL scam, you listened to stories that the same impersonator is telling to dozens of other guys, in order to continue earning money on correspondence or convince you to buy a tour “to see her” (the girl from photos).
- In the PPL scam impersonators are typing under identities of women in profiles, because they need to maintain the appearance of legitimacy. They do require some women who want to get married, to show them to suitors (just like matrimonial scammers did in the 100-year-old story by O’Henry).
PPL impersonators (aka ‘translators’) state that about 20% of “brides” on websites selling tours actually do want a foreign husband, while 80% are there for the money from gifts. All these “brides” come from agents, and each large PPL website offering tours has dozens of agents supplying them with women’s listings.
If the bride actually wants to get married, then the agency needs not only to “sell” her to you through falsified correspondence and doctored photos, as we explained above, but also “sell” you to her.
Once you have purchased the tour, the “bride” needs to get ready to meet you. She potentially had no idea about you until now. But now that you are coming for a visit, they need to prep the “bride”. Your long correspondence (or some edited parts from it) will be shown to the bride, so that she gets some idea who is her admirer that is coming to visit.
If your agent is one of the “honest” ones (the ones who claim that their “women really want to get married”), as opposed to the majority of agents who prefer to deal with fake brides (they are easier to manage), then the lady could be pressured to accept “her match”.
She may think that you are too old/young/fat/thin/short/tall for her, or she wants someone with a degree, or without kids, or from a large city not a small town — but she may be told to “take what she can get”, because “she is not too flash herself and nobody else is interested in her”. The agent may try hard to convince her to at least meet you for a date and give you a chance, even if she is not interested.
In the meantime, you think she (i.e. the girl from photos) is absolutely smitten and can’t wait to see you.
Women report that agents purposefully destroy their self-esteem, so that they accept an offer from any groom who would agree to marry her. But if it was her own choice at the start, she wouldn’t most likely accept a guy like this herself. (And you thought it was her who fell for you first? Unlikely.)
- Some agents insist that “brides” (who usually are getting benefits in the form of gifts) meet all men who come to Ukraine to visit them after “correspondence”.
- Others allow women to refuse a meeting and then tell the man that the bride simply went away urgently, and offer to meet other “girls” on their books while the man is there. But they will only do it once the man has arrived to Ukraine, so you cannot even know beforehand whether you are going to see the girl from photos or not, even if you have purchased the tour. (Read this story reported by TV show Dr. Phil.)
The agent’s state, “If the man comes here, we will find him a bride”. Agents don’t care how much money you spent on the tour and the correspondence prior to that (well, they do care how much they earn on you, so the more you spent, the better for them). What I mean, agents don’t care if this money is totally wasted for nothing and it was all just a fraud.
The agencies that claim to be “free from scams” may show men’s profiles to women within the first weeks of correspondence (no point in showing her your profile until they know you would be spending money on communication).
But in any case, in a PPL scam it’s an impersonator that communicates with you under the identity of the “bride”.
The fraudulent agencies that claim they are “legitimate and really want to help people to get married”, but in fact hire impersonators, believe that they actually are doing a service for the bride by making you (the client) to fall in love with her via an impostor.
Because, in their view, women are “stupid” and say wrong things to men (read: tell the truth), so it’s best that an impersonator writes to you under the bride’s identity, to say the “right things” and make you fall in love.
However, don’t think that in the PPL scam agents are only lying to you and not lying to her! Of course, they are lying to her about you as well.
So, when you meet after a long correspondence conducted by an impersonator, you think that you are meeting the woman you have been talking to all this time, who adores you, and in reality, you are meeting someone who was just told a few nice things about you. You are both being scammed.
By this time, you have spent probably about $5,000 to purchase the tour. Another $2,000 will be required for other expenses like meals and taxis while you are there ($7,000 in total).
But spending all this money gave you absolutely NO benefits.
You could just as well arrive to the city and walk into any marriage agency office (there are plenty of them) and ask to meet women from their books. It would cost you about $50 per person. The value of this meeting would be exactly the same: It would be the meeting of 2 strangers who only saw each other’s photos and profiles, but never talked.
If you think that “socials” hold any value and you believe the company’s claims it attracts dozens of marriage-minded women wanting to meet foreign men, it’s also possible to attend such events without purchasing the tour or doing any communication (which is likely to be impersonated) prior to it. Offices of PPL companies welcome walk-ins and offer invites for $200 to local expats; all local English-speaking papers are full of such ads. But you could just as well pay $5 and go to any local night club. All single women in Ukraine want to get married, but to the right guy. If you are not the right guy, you won’t find a bride at the “socials” or at the club.
In the PPL scam, the impersonated correspondence prior to the tour is a typical “bait and switch” tactic, which characterizes deceptive trade practices.
Don’t use PPL sites if you don’t want to be manipulated.
4. Your date with the woman
As a rule, PPL brides can only be seen in the presence of a translator, for which you have to pay about $25/hour. Plus you pay for all the meals and entertainment for the whole group: you, the “bride, and the “translator” (who is likely to be the impersonator writing to you under the identity of the “bride”, so that it doesn’t become apparent that the woman knows nothing about you).
Brides often also get paid, so that they agree to attend dates (remember, 80% of women listed as “brides” on these sites don’t seek a foreign husband, and from the 20% that do seek a mate many don’t seek a husband like you, — but you took the bait and paid for PPL correspondence, and then you have paid for the tour to Ukraine, and now they have to show her in flesh to you to confirm that “it’s all real”).
A dinner or lunch will cost you about $100 per person, so you are out of pocket $300 for the food and $100 for translations ($400 in total). In PPL scams “brides” and translators get kickbacks from what you spend in restaurants, so you are taken to expensive places that they have arrangements with. You are being scammed on every step.
- If you are meeting 3 women, then it’s $1,200.
- If you decide to meet one of the women again, it’s another $400 for the meeting every time.
Let’s say, you met 3 women and went to 3 dates with the one you liked the most; it’s $2,000.
During the dates, you only talk through a translator. This means, you have no idea what your “bride” is really saying, all your questions can be edited by the translator, as well as her answers, to make it sound good. The translator may even tell her something completely opposite to what you have said.
So, by the end of your visit, you have spent minimum $12,000 (from correspondence and tour to dates), and you still haven’t’ talked properly to the woman you plan to marry.
You have only seen her photos, was told some doctored stories by translators, and could see her body language when she was on the date with you — her body language being the only true thing you know about her so far.
This is what you are expected to make your decision upon, when choosing a bride in a PPL scam.
In the vast majority of cases, guys simply go home realizing they have been defrauded. By now the man is out of pocket $12,000 and now he knows PPL is not what it seems to be (or claimed by agents to be). A very expensive lesson.
I am saving you $12,000 by explaining to you the highly likely scenario.
You will be lucky if you get out at this stage (or any stage prior to that). If you move further, you are now becoming a part of an immigration fraud. Which can bite you on your backside many years later.
On the other hand, if you were using a legitimate dating site, talked to the women directly (no impersonators), found out who they were and picked one lady to visit, it would cost you $200 for the subscription to the site + $2,000 for tickets and hotels, plus your expenses for incidentals would also be lower, as you would be accompanied by a local lady ($500-1,000 instead of $2,000). You would save around $9,000 as compared to the PPL route.
But the biggest plus, you would be talking to the woman without mediators, she probably would be spending all her spare time with you during your visit (or even inviting you to stay at her place), so you could really get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company.
By the end of the visit, you would have spent 2-3 months talking remotely (2-3 hours daily), plus 5-7 days together during your visit.
You could also get together at a holiday resort in Thailand, Turkey or Dominican Republic, where women from Ukraine and Russia can travel without visa. (PPL brides won’t travel to meet you.) You have total freedom on genuine dating sites, while PPL severely limits your options and makes you pay for every step.
Why are you even considering using PPL sites?
5. Fiancée visa application
If you feel that $12,000 that you have spent on PPL sites and the visit were a large investment and you want to get something for it, now you would be eligible to apply for a fiancée visa for your online girlfriend.
Not that it’s likely she agrees to that; a more likely route is that the “bride” says you still need to get to know each other better, so let’s continue communicating via the site. But let’s say, you asked her to marry you and she agreed, in “the best case scenario”.
The problem is that if the connection started via paid fakes, you can only apply on the basis of fraud, because the woman cannot tell you that it wasn’t her who was writing mails to you that made you fall in love. She also cannot tell you that she was getting cash payouts for the gifts you sent or that she was also getting cash for gifts from other 10-15 suitors that PPL impersonator was scamming at the same time.
She cannot tell you or the immigration department that the whole correspondence was a sham. So, she has to claim it was her who was writing to you, while it was not.
She is lying to you but she is also submitting a false declaration and committing immigration fraud.
You may think it’s not a big deal and you don’t care about your bride’s honesty and ethical standards, but the immigration department definitely doesn’t think that a false declaration is not a problem.
- Application for a fiancée visa will cost you $1,000-$7,000, depending on the country.
- Preparation of the documents for the visa another $1,000-5,000.
- The visa may be rejected and the money will be lost.
If PPL sites really cared about their users as they try to promote, they would stop paying money to agents to cut off the scams. But they do not. They keep paying commissions based on the amount of messages sent and received, which makes hiring impersonators profitable for agents. The reason PPL sites do not cut off this commission-based scheme is because once they do it, they will probably instantly lose 90% of their profits, which come from scams. The women are not writing to men, impersonators do, and they won’t do it without payments.
Don’t use PPL sites if you don’t want to be a part of immigration fraud.
6. Tickets and moving
Let’s say your bride’s visa got approved. Airplane tickets for your bride will cost you about $1,000-2,000.
By now you have paid probably about $20,000 in total — and you still may have no idea who is that person that is about to arrive to join you in your country.
You haven’t spent much time together, haven’t talked about important things (you did talk about them probably, but not with her, with an impersonator, and she may think very differently about these things).
Now you are potentially getting a woman who was happy to lie to you all the way (and scam some other innocent men at the same time, each of whom spent money on her). Let’s say, the PPL agent scammed 10 other guys for $12,000 each ($120,000 in total). And your lovely “bride” was complicit in these scams.
Hopefully, there is no big investigation into PPL fraud where she suddenly becomes a required witness.
- Congratulations! You have spent 12-18 months and $20,000, and you have a lying, scheming, dishonest person living with you in your house, who without reservations have committed fraud before.
Now you can start getting to know your future wife.
By spending money on PPL sites you enable this fraud to continue
You may not care about the quality of the person who is going to share life with you, but I want to point your attention to one more important consideration.
- By spending money on PPL sites, you enable these scams to continue and grow, and more people will be involved in Ukraine into this fraud and corrupted.
“Brides” and impersonators (aka “translators”) are often young women struggling to find a job. PPL agents are happy to take anyone and teach them to scam foreign men for money. Because of your paying for communication, this scheme becomes bigger and corrupts other innocent souls.
That’s one of the reasons why I am so strongly against PPL sites.
Stop using PPL sites, if you want these scams to stop.
“Are there any women from PPL sites who marry men and move to their countries?”
And now it’s time to give the answer to the question about marriages originating through PPL sites.
- “Are there any marriages that occur after meeting on PPL sites?”
Some criminals get girlfriends while in jail, correspond for months and then marry them. Prostitutes marry their clients. So what if there are some marriages that occur after meeting through PPL sites?!
Remember the scheme that I described above. For every marriage, there are thousands of men left financially fleeced and emotionally devastated. Even suggesting that these structures have any legitimacy puts psychological and financial well-being of millions of single men around the world at risk.
If this doesn’t bother you and you don’t care about tens of thousands of men who are defrauded on PPL sites right now, not concerned about becoming another victim of paid communication scams, not worried about living with a confirmed fraudster in your home, and you are indifferent to the fact that your money helps to pay wages of a whole multi-level system of con artists that continuously recruits new victims as participants and targets, — if all these things don’t matter to you, go ahead.
There are plenty of PPL sites that will happily take your money and promise you a bride.
What can you do to make these scams to stop?
- Most importantly, stop giving money to crooks that allow them to grow their webs of fake brides and impersonators. Stop using PPL sites.
- Second, complain to authorities about these misleading schemes and request to investigate and prosecute fraudsters (read here how to complain).
- Third, spread the word. Post a link to this article on social media, even if you don’t think your friends will be interested. It may just save someone from a terrible heartbreak and humiliation, as well as prevent them from wasting thousands of dollars. Use the tags: #StopPPL, #MenAgainstPPL to post your complaints on Facebook and Twitter.
The last question: Is it possible to meet a genuine woman from Russia, Ukraine, or Belarus?
Yes, it’s possible to meet a genuine woman from Russia, Ukraine or Belarus who wants to get married and is ready to move countries for that.
The solution is simple: Use legitimate Russian dating sites that don’t use PPL.
Get away from gang-style PPL structures and back to normal dating. When there is no money paid for each message moving from one layer of fraudsters to another, it’s impossible to hire impersonators and pay workers to entertain you with love tales.
Stop paying to people for saying nice things to you and talk to real people (who may be at times rude, upset, disrespectful, uninterested, and so on — because they are candid and tell you what they really think, not what will make you keep talking and paying for longer).
- Simply start communicating with an individual and get to know a real person, not a fake persona designed by impostors and agents.
- All that needs to happen for that, stop paying for communication and dates. Then agents cannot pay wages to impersonators and “brides”, if you do not pay. You will be talking to real people who are interested in you. The ones who are not interested will disappear.
All the best in your search!
Share this article on social media and spread the message (use these 3 tags: #LoveTrolls, #StopPPL, #MenAgainstPPL in your posts). It’s time for PPL sites to take responsibility and stop the fraud once and for all. Help as much as you can! Every little thing you do to spread this message brings closer the day when servers of PPL sites get seized by police.