Believing in hope against hope that if somehow stuck it out, I would eventually meet someone who wasn't a complete scammer, and sorry to report, I never did. I will just give an example of the most recent (and my very last) experience.
Natalyia wrote seemingly an initial first letter that did not seem like the standard form letter that you get from some of the ladies, sometimes up to 40 times or more. I responded and we seemingly had a very real exchange of letters and chats over the course of several weeks. Then, in the last letter, just after she promised what she would do to me when we finally met in person, out of the blue, she mentioned that we should definitely take it slow. That raised a red flag, because not only can you not get much slower than sending letters and email chatting from over 5000 miles away, but this was frequently the "block" I would get when I would throw out actually calling them to discuss future plans.
She also though enclosed a photo of a strategically placed tattoo she had on her lower back. Also on the picture was a Russian last name. I googled it and it was that of a very active photographer who specializes in erotic photography (she told me she was a personal trainer). Clicking on his site, I soon found Nataliya and a number of pictures that were on the Anastasia site, and also some link to their version of Facebook, called VK. So I went on her site, found her last name, and looked at many of her 500 selfies, but several of which also featured her muscle-bound boyfriend who looked like he had an IQ under 80 with his backward camouflage ball cap on.
Just to give her the slightest benefit of the doubt, since maybe he was an ex-boyfriend, I created a separate Anastasia account using a gift card (which I would highly suggest to check the fidelity and loyalty of the woman at the other end who has pledged her undying whatever to you). I went in as "John" and simply wrote her, "I like your pics and bio. Do you currently have anybody here on the site or in real life who you have feelings for, because if I'm going to try to win your heart, I want to know that you are completely available?" Her response, as expected was of course, that she was completely free and looking, and then went into some detail about how she wanted to handcuff me and "lick every cell of my body." I didn't even get that kind of response in my real profile from her.
So, clearly, even though this seemed to be just about the most serious one I've encountered on Anastasia after being on and off for over 5 years, she was just as full of crap and would clearly say anything to anybody to keep that 12 cents a minute coming in, or whatever they pay them for letters. Apparently, it's almost a cottage industry in some depressed Ukrainian towns.
Do not do like I do and waste a cent on this site. There are others that are reputable and you pay for their actual contact once, not on and on and on just to maintain contact with your imaginary Slavic girlfriend.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend