The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved UFMA - Ukrainian Fiancee Marriage Association — scam
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
I was with UFMA for almost 2 years. During that time I wrote to and chatted with primarily 2 girls. The first one, I corresponded with for a little over a year before visiting. She said I was the only one she was corresponding with and who she was interested in. Then I planned a 10 day trip to see her, which she promised to spend as much with me as possible. Right up to the morning of my trip, she said she couldn't wait to see me. But when I arrived and met her for the first time, she instantly didn't seem to care for me. I only saw her for an hour and a half the first night. The second day, she again only spent a couple hours over dinner with me. The following day, she said she didn't want to see me again, and that I should see other girls while I'm in town. I tried to reason with her through the agency, but they said she wouldn't change her mind. So I decided to meet a few other girls through the agency while I was in town. And I proceeded to correspond with another one primarily for another year. But over the years, I started to notice certain patterns of behavior that made no sense. Girls would claim that I was the only guy the were communicating with, but I'd find their profile online in the chat room during times when they knew I wasn't going to be available. When I would question them about it in a letter, her reply would be that I must've been mistaken and that she wasn't online during that time. At other times when I'd come online, she would instantly go offline and then come back online the moment I was offline. I can't say for sure whether the agency is playing games using the girl's profile to chat with guys, or if the girl is in on it. The girls I met in Kharkov seemed nice enough and genuine, but one never knows what arrangements they have with Sergey and the agency.
Over the years, I've sent numerous gifts, letters, chatted, and had video calls, with the girls. It's hard to put my finger on what didn't feel right, because they agency is very good at what they do. But I just had a bad feeling about little things along the way.
Another thing that I found suspicious was prior to my first trip, I had asked Sergey if after meeting the girl, could I exchange personal information such as phone number and email with her if she liked me. He said yes. But when I arrived in Kharkov and asked the same question on my first date, I got a lot of resistance from the translator who accompanied us on dates. But I left a business card in the gift bag I brought for the girl. You'd think though, if she really cared about me, she would've just emailed me outside of the agency right? I would have. Well she never did. What does that say about her true feelings.
While I was in Kharkov, I asked Sergey how many marriages their agency had produced. He refused to answer. To me that was a red flag. As long as they've been in business, wouldn't they have had a lot of marriages worth bragging about, if that was their genuine intention? Or even if they've been unsuccessful, wouldn't he at least try to explain some of the hardships of bringing men and women to the point of marriage? He did neither. He simply refused to answer my question.
I made my own arrangements for travel to Kharkov, including hiring my own personal assistant who made all my apartment reservations and so on. She warned me that a lot of agencies were scams and that I should be careful. On my first day going to UFMA, she accompanied me to their door, but then quickly left, saying that if the agency was a scam, they could cause trouble for her. I thought she was overreacting. But when I walked into the agency, Sergey asked me if I had any trouble finding the place. I mentioned that I had an assistant who accompanied me there. Well, he took off down the stairs to see who she was and came back looking a bit flustered. I thought that was very strange, but in hindsight, he might have been upset that I didn't hire UFMA to make all my travel arrangements.
I was also told prior to my trip that after the first meeting between me and my girl of choice, I could have my own translator and not use theirs. But upon arrival I was told that I had to use theirs for the whole time I was with their girl, and if I brought mine along in addition to theirs, I would forfeit the opportunity to have further dates with the girl. I think this is very suspicious, because it suggests that it wasn't only an issue of them making money through translation service, but they were also concerned that another translator may catch things they're saying in Russian that they didn't want me to know.
All in all, this was a learning experience for me. I would suggest not working with this agency. I have not found any honest agencies in Ukraine, though I suspect there must be some. I also wouldn't trust Anastasia International. I also ran into some scams there as well.
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