In addition to addressing Russian dating scams, let me also mention "non-scams"...those behaviors that sometimes leave some men feeling scammed, but that don't really qualify as scams.These scams are lucrative mostly because they prey upon distance and anonymity.
Online dating ukrane scam
But the funny thing is that the ubiquity/omnipresence of Russian dating scams is MUCH SMALLER than it appears from outside Russia/Ukraine.
It's just that those perpetrating the scams are highly visible and do a LOT of volume.
To those outside Russia/Ukraine it might appear that Russian dating scams are EVERYWHERE!
And it is true that if you enter this pursuit by web searching and selecting random search results you will almost surely encounter scams.
And if you do engage in the pay-per-letter process, the girl may push for you to visit her through the services of her agency who will provide ground transport, apartment, interpreters, etc. The agency makes profit on all these items and shares a portion with the girl.
Of course if a car arrives to meet you at the airport, and if you have an apartment to sleep in, if a translator is actually present on your dates, and your date actually shows up, then you might wonder where is the scam?
Direct scams usually perpetrated through email is the first category.
If you sign up for "direct-connection sites" (sites where members communicate directly with one another without any human intermediaries - like Match.com) and correspond via email with women you meet online, you will definitely encounter "Email Scams".
That's a little frustrating to me because scams are so easy to avoid.