Nathan Adams, a 45-year-old aircraft mechanic who hates dating, makes an odd poster boy for international online dating.
But that’s what he’s literally become since he turned to AnastasiaDate.com out of frustration with women in Utah.
Use caution in international dating
The U.S. State Department warns citizens that international dating is fertile ground for scam artists. Here is the department’s advice, from an article at http://1.usa.gov/pyjLx2.
Never send money to someone you haven’t met in person without verifying his or her identity.
Don’t disclose personal details over the phone or online.
Refer all those claiming to be in distress overseas to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
The Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 can offer suggestions for verifying whether the situation is legitimate or a scam.
If you insist on sending money, consider sending an OCS Trust instead, which means the money sent via Western Union must be picked up at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
After a romance via letters and Skype, he and Elena Adamchiyk, a native of Ukraine, are planning to marry before her 90-day fiancée visa runs out.
Adams feels like he hit the jackpot.
"Dating Elena is like dating a model … who has the values of my grandmother," he says. "If somebody had told me a year ago what my life would be like today, I wouldn’t believe them."
Adams and Adamchiyk are being held up as a success story by AnastasiaDate.com, which is spending millions on a public-relations blitz amid criticism about its business practices and its relatively high prices.
Adamchiyk arrived in the northern Utah community of Syracuse earlier this month from Odessa, on the Black Sea, eager to become a mother to Adams’ 6-year-old, Vanessa, and wife of "my Nate," as she calls Adams.
"I want marriage. I don’t want Russian marriage," says Adamchiyk, 34, who was married twice before in the former Soviet republic to men who cheated, a behavior she asserts is not uncommon there.
This time around, she was looking for a man who would be loyal, who didn’t drink or do drugs, and who would treat her with respect.
"This was my dream," Adamchiyk says. "I want to take care of Nate and Nessa [Vanessa’s nickname]. This is first."
‘I’d had enough’ » Divorced for several years from Vanessa’s mother (who has since died), Adams says he dated women who either didn’t want to help him rear his daughter or were mostly interested in his money. He ran into a fair amount of bitterness and anger toward men.
It was, " ‘I want this. I want that. I won’t tolerate this, I won’t tolerate that,’ " he says. "I told my friend I’d had enough. I wanted no more dating around here."
A friend suggested international women via online dating sites; five of his friends at Hill Air Force Base are married to women from other countries, and he liked the idea. So he bought a home computer.
At first, he tried a website that connects Western men with Asian women, but was scammed by someone he believed was a model.
When he began hearing good things about Ukrainian women — that they are both beautiful and traditional — he tried AnastasiaDate.com.
It’s the largest international online-dating company, though much smaller than general interest dating websites such as Match.com, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony and Zoosk.
Altogether, online dating was a $1.13 billion industry in 2011, according to Marketdata Enterprises, which expects the business to grow to $1.33 billion in revenue by 2015.
AnastasiaDate makes money by charging men in Western countries to exchange and translate electronic letters and to arrange live text and video chats with women in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and other former Soviet republics. It has sister sites specializing in Latin American, Asian and African women.
The company told Fortune magazine last spring that it saw a 220 percent increase in the number of users last year, pushing profits to $110 million. The Moscow-based company projected earnings of $140 million this year, and it recently opened an office in New York, the magazine said.
In the past month alone, AnastasiaDate says, it had 17,255 site visits from men in Utah, including 3,485 visits from men in Salt Lake City. It logged nearly 3.4 million site visits from men around the world that month, with more than 1.2 million from the United States.Next Page >
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