How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Zoey, JD Your Own Question

Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 24009
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
18321761
Type Your Fraud Examiner Question Here...
Zoey, JD is online now

I have been scammed out of my home and all my money. What

Resolved Question:

I have been scammed out of my home and all my money. What can I do now?
***** *****on
e-mail: *****@******.***
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.

Can you tell me how you were scammed? Was your scammer someone you actually know and have met on real-time or someone you were just communicating with over the computer or other electronic means. Do you know where this person really is?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I replied to you but maybe should have done it this way. I was widowed and went on the dating site just for a laugh. This man got in touch who said he lived in Pitlochry and he was Dutch. Then he said he had to deliver some medical equipment to Ghana. When he got there he had his bank cards stolen. His name supposedly is Bryan Sullivan. I have proof through my bank and through moneygram

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

Yes. You cannot reply to the JA email and get me. That email is an auto-generated notice and any reply to that goes into cyberspace. You have to upload your answer onto this thread and that way I can see it and we can have a dialogue.

In the fraud examiner category, I don't get to give a lot of good news, and this is no exception. You fell for a romance scam.

These are pretty much scripted and we hear stories like yours here all day every day. The tale of the on-line love that sweeps you off your feet only to have to leave on business to Ghana, Nigeria or Malaysia before he can see you and who over there gets into an emergency situation for which only your money will save the day, is prototypical.

As you've sent the money you will find if you haven't already, that he will ask you for more of it, a larger amount than last time, in fact. And that's only just the beginning, since he will keep neediing more for as long as you keep wanting to send it.

Any time an online romance who you have never met personally and established a real time dating relationship with asks you for money, he's a scammer. There's no exception to that rule. The money request is the #1 sign of a romance scam. Asking for money is not something that a legitimate stranger will ask of another.

His request is not only unreasonable, seeing that he has never met you in person. It is also ridiculous. The Dutch Embassy could get him access to his money. He doesn't need yours, if he's for real. But somehow a self-sufficient businessman hasn't got a dime to his name and needs to borrow from a total stranger. You may want to believe him because you think that you care for him, but you'd b wrong to do so.

Just think about it. If someone you never met before walked up to you on the street and said, "I love you and believe I can make you the happiest woman in the world. Just give me several thousand dollars because I've lost my bank cards, would you believe him? No, of course you wouldn't. That's because in the real world, your life experience tells that a stranger who would do and say this would have to be a beggar, a con artist or a lunatic.

It should be exactly the same on the web. Anyone can pretend to be anyone else, anywhere in the world and get away with it, thanks to the internet and today's technology. That means everyone on the web is only a stranger until you meet him or her in person and see for the first time who he or she really is.

What scammers do -- and why it works -- is to rush their victims headlong into a passionate romantic relationship so that when they have their first emergency and ask for money, the victim doesn't see this as an unreasonable request from a stranger. But in fact, he IS a stranger and it's quite unreasonable.

He's not Dutch. His name isn't Bryan Sullivan, a rather unusual name for a Dutchman, if ever I heard one, incidentally. He's a group of Ghanaian thieves looking to steal your personal identifying information and all of your money. The romance scam is a Ghana specialty.

If you could catch him, you can sue or have him prosecuted, but none of the information you have on this man will check out. He will not be who, what or where you really think he is. That means that this is a job for law enforcement. Your only chance of getting your money back is if someone can find the scammer and bring him to justice. Since the technology that allows scammers to appear to be anyone, anywhere in the world is more sophisticated than the technology that exists to catch them, the overwhelming number of online scammers get completely away with their crime.

So report the fraud to actionfraud.police.uk.

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Zoey, JD, Criminal lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 24009
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Zoey, JD and other Fraud Examiner Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
it all started last November - 2013. I stupidly went on a dating web site. My husband had just died. This man said he lived in Pitlochry so I got in touch with him. I have his photo but do not think it is him. Anyway he said he flew out to Ghana and had all bank cards stolen. He said his name was Bryan Sullivan. I sold my flat for £20.000 less than I paid for it. I have the bank transaction and his e-mails. I also have some moneygrams that I sent. One of them was to Mubarak Meyu and there is a picture of him on the internet. I am in such a financial mess now


Sandra
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
No matter how good the dating site, romance scammers infiltrate. It's pretty reprehensible, how they get you to love and to trust and then rob you blind, but that's exactly what happens. Last year Americans lost $50 million to romance scammers.

One problem is that wire transfers via Western Union and Moneygram are untraceable. Your money can be picked up anywhere in the world by someone with a phony ID and the MCTN number This is why scammers almost always ask for them. Once the money is sent, payment is instant, irreversible and untraceable.

You can run his photos through Google Search by Image. If you see the photos on different dating sites with different names and details, you know he gave you phony information and law enforcement probably won't be able to find him. But you should give copies of everything you find relevant to actionfraud.police.uk. Short of hiring a private investigator, there's really nothing more that you can do. That's the harsh reality of internet scam. I wish it were otherwise, but these guys could be anybody, anywhere in the world.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
< Previous | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I Couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ben Jones

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1505
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1505
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ZO/ZoeyJD/2014-6-19_11019_14.64x64.jpg Zoey, JD's Avatar

    Zoey, JD

    Criminal lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    162
    Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
  • /img/opt/shirt.png Laurie Palace's Avatar

    Laurie Palace

    Consultant

    Satisfied Customers:

    157
    30 years of experience as an Insurance SIU investigator.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Teacher, writer, biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    270
    Great research skills, variety of work experiences, teaching experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PD/pdheslin/2012-6-6_232056_pambig.64x64.jpg pdheslin's Avatar

    pdheslin

    Consultant

    Satisfied Customers:

    51
    20+ years of internet site creation and search engine optimization. Dozens of search tools at my disposal.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BL/blueflowers1063/2013-10-10_35834_KimHolidays1.64x64.jpg Kim D.'s Avatar

    Kim D.

    Consultant

    Satisfied Customers:

    27
    Researcher 20+yrs in small and large institutions
 
 
 

Related Fraud Examiner Questions