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(by Maxx and Elena Garrett)


Recently we published "Classification of Scammers" article on this web site. The The Green Card Hunters were mentioned there briefly. However, the problem of CGHs is of much bigger concern to us than the problem of the usual visa and tickets scammers we all know about. Read on and you will know why.

What is the Green Card scam? 

This is the most dangerous kind of dating scam that women from Eastern Europe (as well as women from Asia) can potentially use on Western men. 

This type of scammer is mainly after a possibility of an easy immigration into a highly desired country, like U.S.A. or U.K, for example. This scam exploits the extensive protections that most developed countries provide to women. Specifically, immigration laws in many countries allow the immigrant women married to abusive husbands to obtain a divorce while still retaining the right to apply for the citizenship or greencard in the new country. Usually, some physical, sexual, or mental abuse has to be proven, so in the absence of actual abuse these women can get creative in fabricating the evidence of abuse. Sometimes these women even coach their children to claim sexual abuse at the hands of their new Western dad. The courts usually give the women a benefit of the doubt, even if the evidence of the abuse is not particularly strong. Needless to say, such actions throw the families in legal turmoil, and the husbands find themselves in an uphill battle fighting the legal system to prove their innocence. Whether or not the men can prove their innocence in court, the resulting divorce is usually very hard on them emotionally and financially. The women usually walks out of the marriage with a green card and a divorce settlement. It is not unusual for such women to clean out the husband's bank account of savings, and his house of valuables before all the legal procedures are over.


Warning signs:

  • Often, the woman has more than one previous marriage
  • Her children have noticeable behavioral problems, or she appears to be abusive toward her children
  • She restricts your access to her documents (such as her divorce records, children's birth certificates, her passport, etc)
  • She does not likes to be photographed or seen with you
  • While in Russia / Ukraine, you are not introduced to her friends, or your introduction is abrupt and cold
  • While in Russia / Ukraine, you are either not introduced to the woman's family, or her family seems cold and distant toward you
  • Erratic or inconsistent behavior on her part during dating, or one of her parents exibits erratic behavior toward you
  • During dating, she often becomes snappy and cold
  • Inconsistent but overall reasonably good relationship before the marriage and a drastic change to the worse after the marriage
  • After marriage she refuses sex except for times when she wants something from you (a car, a credit card, a separate bank account, etc);
  • She demands separate living arrangements (different bedrooms or even apartments); or separate credit cards and bank accounts;
  • She is very unsatisfied about your social or financial status; demands expensive purchases that she knows you cannot afford; gets angry, cold, or violent when refused her demands
  • Does not socialize with your family or children; treat them with disrespect
  • Does not invite you to socialize with her friends
  • Behave in a secretive way; has friends that you find shady or unpleasant


How they operate

Here is the usual plan. 

This plan is for defrauding an American citizen, but a similar plan have been used in several other countries, for example, UK, Canada, Ireland.

  • Finding an American (any American will do, but the richer the better of course)

  • Getting married as soon as possible 

  • After marriage, start getting access to the husband's bank accounts and credit cards. The lady may demand her own bank account (so she could later move money from family or savings account into her own), or that her name was added to the hour and car titles, or that those valuables were moved completely under her name, or that she was given her own car and apartment or house.

  • Building a network of other Russian immigrants in the area. That is usually accompanied by telling them tales of abuse, neglect and sufferings (those Russian friends will serve as witnesses later on)

  • She might start looking for a local US boyfriend whose financial support she can depend on once she out of the marriage relationship (optional)


  • Once the change of status petition is filed with the INS, the nastier part of the plan is put into action. It will usually include

    • Escalation of incidences of aggression (verbal or physical) on her part toward the husband or his children, which might provoke the husband to become verbally or physically aggressive in response

    • May include sharp escalation of demands for full financial autonomy from the husband, or periods of unexplained absences from home

    • Most of the time this part of the plan includes staging a "confrontation" incident (may include physically assaulting the husband, yelling very loud to attract attention of the neighbors, creating self-inflicted scratches and bruises; staging a "confrontation" scene by overturning furniture, and then placing a 911 call.)

    • Getting police on the scene

    • Getting the husband arrested on domestic violence charges

    • Getting any "evidence" of abuse documented (scratches and bruises photographed)

    • Checking in to a women's shelter before the husband gets out of jail

    • Telling everyone in the women shelter stories of life threats, abuse, intimidation, fear of calling police, etc.

    • Enlisting the shelter's help in getting a protective warrant against the husband

    • Enlisting the shelter's help in getting a legal help with the criminal charges against the husband

  • After the police report is filed, the woman then files a petition with INS to continue with the greencard paperwork in a new status of battered wife.

  • Once that petition is approved, she will probably be entitled to some welfare from the state


Problems that these dishonest women create for all of us:

  • These newly arrived immigrants are getting welfare or social service benefits at the taxpayers' expense. To get these they need only to make the claim of abuse to the INS (USCIS). They then receive these benefits while their application forms (I-360) are being processed. This can take many months.
  • They get United States Citizenship at an accelerated rate. The fraud they commit, which is a Federal felony, is rewarded at a faster rate than those immigrants who adhere to the law.
  • The INS' system of accepting the "evidence" of abuse only from the petitioner as well as their lack of a system to receive "the other side of the story" from the accused plus there being no hearing with either party seems to indicate their wish to wink these cases through... Why? Possibly to avoid a time consuming and costly appeal process through the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), the immigration courts.
  • American woman are now being targeted with marriage fraud and with it, it's false abuse charges. The INS is gender neutral about this and grants foreign men Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) status or a "Green Card" and eventual US citizenship because these men claim that their American wives abused and beat them.
  • Many INS personnel are sympathetic to American men and women caught in these situations but are powerless to help them. As of 1996 all spousal abuse petitions are handled by the Vermont Service Center. The local INS service centers that are in the position to hear both sides of the case and receive evidence from both the accuser and the accused are kept out of the process by the V.S.C. and directives from Arlington, Virginia. Under directives they are required to send the permanent files of the petitioner to the V.S.C. This effectively ends their involvement with the petitioner in regard to these abuse claims.
  • By INS directives, the accused is NOT permitted to find out what claims the petitioner has made against him. Nor is he permitted to be a witness at her trial if she has one. The accused is given no opportunity to defend himself against her charges to the INS.
  • The accused, a United States citizen is labeled "The Abuser" by the immigrant spouse in her or his INS petition and this is put into Federal files and INS computers permanently .

American men who became victims of this scam has no place to voice their complaints and no law to protect them. They suffer severe emotional and financial damages trying to defend themselves against false accusations.

So, if you or anyone you know is planning a marriage to a lady or a man from another country (not just FSU by any means), please keep this information in mind. I hope shortly I will also be able to publish more info on the typical GC hunters and how to identify them.



Case of Lidiia Kolisnichenko vs. Michael Wnuk



NEW! Special Report: VAWA-Funded Immigration Fraud Costs Americans Taxpayers $170 Million a Year

NEW!  CSI CONSULTING AND INVESTIGATIONS - U.S. consulting and investigation company that works with the victims of immigration fraud. We were asked to forward to them victims of the immigration fraud. 



News Reports:

Grooms: Woman Coached Foreign Wives To Lie 






If I give you my ladyís information, can you check whether she is a scammer?

How can I check if a travel agency is real?

Do Russians/Ukrainians really have to pay a certain amount of money to be able to leave the country?

Can Russian police arrest the scammer when she comes to pick up the money at Western Union?

Do you want me to send you information about the scammer I am corresponding with?

How can I confirm that the photos I have been receiving actually belong to the person I am corresponding with?




What does a real Russian passport look like?