It was a mere two weeks before Aleksandra's emails swung in a more intimate direction, peppered with loving endearments and declarations of their future together.A smitten Dave began to make plans, discussing travelling to Russia to see her — but he also had his doubts."When he tried to call back, using the number she had emailed him, it was disconnected.
However, they are big targets for crooks - some who even go to the trouble to create their own fake ATMs!
Not a joke - it was reported in Ukrainian media that a set of criminals had built a machine in the commercial centre of Kiev offering withdrawls with "no commission", obviously looking to target travellers who would normally be none the wiser.
But it's not just ATMs that have been a focus for technologically inclined criminals.
Some of the biggest criminal undertakings in the world in regard to credit card number collection, especially on the internet, have been masterminded in the Ukraine.
Her emails from a Gmail account arrived every two days and at first were full of the little details of her life, like walking in the park with her friends and hanging out for pizza.
She sent dozens of pictures of her eating cake, dressed in a bathrobe, lying chastely on the bed, always dressed in white.
Unusually for someone her age, Aleksandra had no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.
In fact, there were no online traces of her at all.
When Dave's friends suggested 'Aleksandra' might even be a man, his mood changed abruptly. The Mount Gambier man shared the contents of the roughly 50 emails he received over three months conversing with 'Aleksandra' with ABC Local Radio, wanting to help prevent further victims.
The case is a textbook example of a classic dating swindle, said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deputy chair Delia Rickard.
She sent him passport pictures, told him she had spoken about their future to her family and even started to call him "husband"."You are my loved man and I don't want to lose you," she reminded him constantly.