The faking of Russians – How to keep yourself safe.By Vadim Dovganyuk
The moment I have to write this word, it already comes to my own attention this is going to cause some people looking with a dirty look…
Hold on before you do, as this is not negative nor positive to any nationality.
It is actually either a like or dislike, Russians, but when it comes to online activity, especially at social media, it becomes dangerous…
Let me start off by saying Russians are not bad people, just like Americans, Ukrainian, Germans, Canadians, and go on for a long time, aren’t either. There are bad people, but they are there for any nationality.
However, when it comes to Russians and social media, there is a very important matter that comes up, identity theft.
Yet, unlike many suppose, it are not the Russians who are the identity thefts, often it comes from outside of the borders of Russia, and even outside of the borders of any previous Soviet Union country, targeting the identity of Russians.
Instagram is one of the best examples of the social networking websites that this happens, however, not the only one.
When you look at Instagram, you probably will find thousands of Russian models, and a lot of them are not fakes…
Yep, they are not fake, as unlike at Europe and the Americas where modeling is seen as a profession, modeling at Russia equals a pastime, a hobby.
It is something most previous Soviet countries were known for, purity, however, I use the word “were” for a specific reason, as it is no longer this way.
But, to not drift off, at those thousand of Russian models, there also an incredibly huge number of fake accounts.
When it comes to fake identities, there is no denying there is no faker who should, and even could, be counted as safe.
Yet, Russia has actually the easiest way of verifying yourself… The Russian domain names…
Like “.com” is international, “.eu” is European, and “.us” is United States (of America), there is “.ru” as Russia-specific domain extension.
But, unlike the others, “.ru” extension does provide something special, the need to confirm your identity and intended use.
Like I had to do when registering “snowcalmth.ru“, the moment you register you have to hand over quite a heavy sum of information, which includes a copy of passport or another recognized form of identication.
Which, unlike many will understand, gives a lot of safety, as this information becomes available to the Russian government, if it was not already, and many do not want that, but apart of that, (might be different at other suppliers than my own) requires the documents to be in Cyrillic script and located within Russia. This means it should disqualify anyone outside of Russia.
To many this is where they already are able to stop trying, as they should not be able to get themselves a Russian domain extension, or even do not want to have it.
But, why is the Russian domain extension so important when it comes to verifying identities?
Well, because most of the faked identities are people with status, which almost always equals into the need of personal websites…
Which is the moment also the “.com” extension comes back into the questions of some probably.
The thing is, most Russians will not have a “.com” website without a “.ru” website, at least, if they are smart OR are managed that is…
And when you have a status like a model, actor, artist and go on for some time, it is highly likely you are managed and do not actually have to bother with these things.
Any good company or organisation has a webmaster working for them, will hire one from time to time or make websites themselves…
Equalling in the real Russian people with status needing a “.ru” domain, and therefore already taking their first step to verifying their authenticity.
Still, it does not actually stop there.
Some will mention the “.su” domain, which actually most often have the same requirements, however, this domain extension is not recognized by, as far as I could find out, any respected Russian company, organisation or governmental entity, therefore is like an extension like “.ninja”, just for fun.
As for listings at websites, or subdomains, there is an easy explanation.
A lot of Russian listing sites, like Fashion Kids(fkids) for example, equal the IMDB website, or even the wikipedia pages, they are maintained by… anyone.
Most will know that wikipedia experiences a lot of problems with people publishing incorrect information, this can be done at all of those websites too.
As for subdomains, they are… laughable.
Owning a subdomain and not a regular website says a lot about you, which is that you do not see any importance of having a personal website, or are not of the legal age…
The most standard prices equal currently about 10 United States dollars, 10 euros, 8 British pound, 300 Ukrainian Hryvnia or 725 Russian Rubbles.
These prices are however the basic prices, which means that most often you will be able to need even less than those amounts.
They are below the general allowance amounts of children at most European, Eurasian and Northern American countries.
While this is not a 100% working method, as there eventually are people who will not create personal websites;
This method will work for all Russians who have actual important statusses, which includes child artists, like singers and models.
So, no personal website with the Russian domain extension means you should watch out, as the chances increase that you are being fooled.
Eventually, internationally it is important to know that it is best to not follow others for their “statuses” online, but based on your own likings.
However, for parents, this could help you to keep your children safe.
As remember, that “Russian child model” could be your 40 year old neighbour that you always thought was a creep, which turns out to be, that he/she really actually is and already is close to your child by your own ignorance…
The internet is a highly dangerous place for children.
The internet is not a safe place for young persons, youth, young adults, adults and elderly.
So always choose to keep your safety first.
About The Author
Owner of this blog. Ukrainian Jew of Polish and Russian descent. Citizen of 8 countries, as well as the European Union. Of Crimean Karaite heritage. Generally impartial at politics. Political syncretist. Opinionated but willing to listen to anyone's opinion. Certified mastering of 51 languages. Works in service of Sony. Active in support of orphans, foundlings, and other children without parental care in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Moldova, and Kazakhstan. Supporter of adoption and foster care. Mentor of 9 children. Previous foundling who now has been adopted. Diagnosed with health and mental health issues, but not disabled. Has a great love for anime, gaming, and TV series. Philanthropist. Social pedagogy graduate.