Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Foreign Bride" websites not Human Trafficking but Human Fleecing


Back in 2011 I became increasingly frustrated with a number of late night commercials on ESPN promoting a Russian Dating website.  Tiring already of the pending coronation of King Obama II, I decided to embark on a definitely not-political piece.  What I found was stunning.  And life changing.  

The website, named in part after the daughter of Russian Tsar Nicholas II (Or for those of you less historically inclined, the name of a 1997 Gary Goldman/Meg Ryan movie) claims to be “one of the first companies to develop a platform designed to connect people from around the world and it remains at the forefront of its field, continually developing improved communication technologies that allow people to discover and enjoy the possibilities of an exciting, globally-interconnected future. The site now has over 20 million members, more than 80 million visitors annually and 1.5 million+ messages exchanged daily.”

It’s that last claim that indicates they’re either exaggerating or ripping people off immensely.

Because on that site you have to spend 10 “credits” to exchange a message.  How much is a “credit”?  It depends on how many you buy.  Buy 20 credits and that sets you back $16, or 80 cents each.  But if you’re willing to buy a thousand credits, they’ll cost just 40 cents each...$400.

So to just exchange a message with someone on their website, the cost is a minimum of $4.  By those numbers, that's over a half million dollars A DAY.

Chatting?  One credit per minute for text chat, two credits for chat with one way video, or six credits per minute for two way camera chat.  Note that this company (With offices in Malta, Cyprus, Seychelles, and New York City) uses the same pricing structure for their Asian, Latin American, African and Middle Eastern websites.  

And here’s the kicker.  Exchanging contact information is verboten. To directly contact the purported love of your life, you have to fill out a form purporting to ensure compliance with International Marriage Broker Regulation Act and pay a fee for “processing” before they’ll give you direct contact information.  We tested this out on two smaller websites with lower prices, spent around $100 in two separate cases, completed the “IMBRA” processing, and got back only mail.ru email addresses.  Now, mail.ru is like Hotmail or Gmail here.  Once direct contact was attempted, the persons disappeared.  

In other words, you're less likely to have direct access to anyone on one of those big commercial Foreign Dating sites than the Ashley Madison suckers.  You spend money on a foreign bride website hoping to meet the woman of your dreams, and you are throwing money down a rat hole. They are no more reliable and no more authentic then the old FriendFinder family of websites used to be. They are a scam, not for the brides, but for the men who are lonely and seeking friendship, companionship, and that perfect person to be with forever.

Anyone who alleges that these ripoff Foreign Bride websites (one or more of which will probably end up on this page thanks to Google Adsense) lead to Human Trafficking also believe that the consumption of A&W Root Beer leads to Alcoholism.  

And lest we think that IMBRA does a damned bit of good note that in neither of the cases used to justify IMBRA would have been impacted had the law been in place at the time.

So where do you find a reliable honest woman. That's an easy question with a hard answer.  Look on Facebook, because there are a multitude of groups that are set up with people looking for foreign brides, and other foreign brides looking for decent men. So if my critics want to try to give somebody grief, what about Facebook? You want to say I engage in human trafficking because I brought my wife from a foreign country who I met on the chatroom of a free web site? Then why not shut down Facebook. You morons.

But then, my critics can't differentiate between my LEGAL immigrant wife and ILLEGAL immigrants and need a saline and vinegar enema to clean out their heads.

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