Help! I'm in a scam and I don't know how to get out!

Discussion in 'Is this a scam?' started by Gentle Giant, Mar 6, 2007.

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  1. Gentle Giant

    Gentle Giant Giant Admin for a Day Staff Member

    An overseas company wants to get me a visa to work in their country. Will they?

    This depends on a couple of things. If you have approached a licensed, legitimate agency in your country and processed passport and visa paperwork through the embassy of that country in yours, then yes, they can do that.

    If you have been approached by someone on the internet in an annonymous email by some "agent" using a free email server like Yahoo, Hotmail, etc, then no, you won't get a visa, but you will spend lots of your money trying to get one.

    The scammers who use this one love to pretend that they are hiring you to work in a hotel in Canada, the UK, or other Commonwealth countries in particular. The scammers will promise you a lot of money for a "job" at the hotel, complete with a lot of impressive looking documents, all of them fake. There will be a lot of paperwork for you to do. Sometimes the scammer may even send you a real actual government document form from the country you want to get a visa to, but the fees you pay will be going to the scammer, not the government agency that processes the form. And the government agency isn't going to get that form anyway. There will be fees that you would need to pay in order to process your paperwork with the other country but those fees will ALWAYS be paid directly to the government. They will never be paid to an agent of any kind.

    If you get such an email, you can always contact the nearest embasssy of the country you want to get a visa for in your country, or the nearest local consulate. Ask them if it's for real. They can tell you whether any such offer is legitimate.

    If you have already gotten such an email, responded, and sent money, the best thing you can do at this point is to just stop. You are not going to get a visa and you aren't going to get a job in a hotel anywhere, except maybe in your hometown. A scam like this can run for months and in the beginning you may not have to pay anything. So you think, "OK, why not?" The answer is that in the end, they will ask for money, and lots of it.
     
  2. Gentle Giant

    Gentle Giant Giant Admin for a Day Staff Member

    I’m ignoring the scammer’s emails but I still get some official looking email

    What should I do?

    If you have been ignoring a scammer’s emails then that’s good. If you have sent money to a scammer but you have stopped that is great. The “official†looking emails you are getting now tell you three things.

    The first is that you have stopped being a scam victim and you have taken charge of things and you are now in control of the situation. You are almost out of the woods. That’s good news.

    The second is that the scammer is now scared. He is really scared. You used to be a victim but now you aren’t. He has lost control of the situation. Even worse for him is the fact that if you paid him some money before he was probably setting you up to steal a LOT of money from you. And you stopped cooperating with him. That means he isn’t going to be able to steal a lot of money from you. He is scared, and you made him scared. That’s also good news.

    The third thing is that the scammer is also desperate. Very desperate. He will try anything he can think of to cajole, beg, plead, scare, entice or to otherwise seduce you into sending him more money. He knows a few tricks and he can push a few buttons but he knows he is losing. This is also good news.

    The best thing for you to do is to just delete those emails when you get them. They’ll keep coming for a while but he’ll stop when he knows you are gone. He might come back to you in a few months and try again, but it won’t work. You have figured him out now and you know where to get help if you need it.

    The scammer may send you emails from an angry lawyer threatening you with legal action. The scammer is trying to scare you into sending money. It’s garbage. He is a criminal and he isn’t going to go into a courtroom and pursue legal action against you. There isn’t any legal action he can take to force you to send money. Delete it.

    The scammer may send you emails from an angry dying cancer victim. The cancer victim will ask you how you can possibly deny his or her last request and, “why are you causing so many problems?†It’s garbage. There is no dying cancer victim. It’s the scammer trying to play on your sympathies. Just delete it.

    You may get an email from an angry banker asking you why you are stopping the transaction. “Don’t you know how much money you are going to lose?†The problem for the scammer is that you already know how much you lost and you have decided not to lose any more. The scammer just wants to coax you into sending the money. And you will just delete the email.

    The scammer will do anything to steal more money from you. If you get emails like this, it means you are winning. It means the scammer is a scared, desperate man who knows he isn’t in control any more. It’s best to just delete those emails. You shouldn’t even bother responding to them. He knows he has lost. And it means you have beaten that scammer.
     
  3. Gentle Giant

    Gentle Giant Giant Admin for a Day Staff Member

    I received an email from a government official

    No, you didn't. You received an email from a scammer.

    Scammers often pretend to be government officials or "diplomats". They think this adds some truthfulness and substance to their scam, and let's face it, you probably don't keep up with who's who in African governments. But you should know that a government official, government minister, or diplomat does not have time to surf around on the internet sending out thousands of emails to trustworthy strangers trying to make multi-million dollar secret deals. There isn't enough time in their day for that.

    Another important point is that there are hundreds, or even thousands, of highly-educated individuals who can staff government positions. There is no reason for them to have poor grammar and spelling in English, especially in countries such as Nigeria or Ghana where English is the official language.

    Remember, the scammer's job is to steal your money. If you continue dealing with the "government official" that's what he will do. You need to stop everything you are doing with them. He may threaten to contact the FBI, the CIA, Interpol, your local police, the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank or any other number of national or international agencies. You should realize that this is merely a bluff. The scammer will NOT contact any of them. Remember that he is a criminal and criminals do not call attention to themselves this way. He just wants to scare you into giving him your money. If you hang up the phone or stop emailing him, he cannot steal your money. If you continue, he will.
     
  4. Gentle Giant

    Gentle Giant Giant Admin for a Day Staff Member

    I received an email or a phone call from a diplomat

    No, you didn't. You received an email from a scammer.

    Scammers often pretend to be "diplomats". They think this adds some truthfulness and substance to their scam, and let's face it, you probably wouldn't know the difference anyway. But you should know that diplomats are official representatives of their governments and they do not have time to surf around on the internet sending out thousands of emails to trustworthy strangers trying to make multi-million dollar secret deals. There isn't enough time in their day for that.

    If you have gotten a phone call from a "diplomat" who is at an airport in your country, you need to hang up the phone on them. It means you are deep into a scam situation and you need to get out fast! The diplomat may claim he is at the airport with your trunkbox, check, etc., except he doesn't really have either. He may be claiming to have some kind of problem with customs or immigration and he needs you to pay some money to help him out. But remember, the scammer's job is to steal your money. If you continue dealing with the "diplomat" that's what he will do. You need to stop everything you are doing with them.

    The diplomat may threaten to contact the FBI, the CIA, Interpol, your local police, the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank or any other number of national or international agencies. You should realize that this is merely a bluff. The scammer will NOT contact any of them. Remember that he is a criminal and criminals do not call attention to themselves this way. He just wants to scare you into giving him your money. If you hang up the phone or stop emailing him, he cannot steal your money. If you continue, he will.
     
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