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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 24038
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Time now i have been in contact with a lady from Durban

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for some time now i have been in contact with a lady from Durban South Africa she was born in Ausralia to a south african mother .Her father passed away last year and her and her mother moved back to Sout Africa. She reckons she has been left an inheritance but is being held from release by tax penalty and wants me to help. She reckons the inheritance has been moved to Ghana for security reasons, do you think this is genuine or a scam we have been emailing each other for 6 months now
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello, No I don't think this is legitimate. This scenario is one we see over and over and over again here from customers who are involved with online romance scammers. Nothing about this scenario is real. It's just a way a scammer has of convincing you to send money. If her government really had a hold of some sort on these funds, it couldn't be moved anywhere. Also this is not the way inheritances work. An estate pays its own expenses, including its own taxes, and it is only after all of those obligations have been paid and after all of the deceased's creditors have been satified that the remainder gets distributed to the heirs. Romance scams are scripted. That is, they follow general patterns. It's a standard ploy in romance scams for the woman to claim that she has an inheritance coming and in many cases, it's contingent on her finding the right man. Then -- suddenly -- tag, you are it. As the "right man" you will be expected to wire money via Western Union or MoneyGram to get her money released from the bank where she says her fortune is so that she can claim it, bring it to your country, and the two of you can live happily and wealthily ever after. The only trouble is, she is lying to you. There is no inheritance. There is only a ploy to phish for your personal identification details and your money. And more money, and more money and more money, until you wise up or go broke, whichever happens first.I know you won't want to believe me, but we hear stories like yours many times every day, and they never check out. These scams come complete with phony documents sometimes. She may even send you some papers which claim her money has already been put into your name, but it will be a forgery. There are also phony bankers and lawyers, all of whom are simply confederates of your scammer because they work in teams. If you send your money to the "bank" they will then ask you for documents such as anti-terrorist anti money laundering certificates. These are not real documents. They only exist in romance scams. They just give your scammer a believable additional reason to ask you for money. You won't be able to get those documents, because they do not really exist. But then your scammer will refer you to a so-called lawyer who can get you the certificate, for court and legal fees. And so you will keep paying and paying and paying and paying and paying. Don' send her any money. Walk away and report her as a scammer. If you're still not sure and you have photos and documents that you can upload here with your reply, I can look further for you. But if needs you to send her money before you have even met her in person and know that she's for real, she's a scammer each and every time. That is the #1 sign of a fraud and there is simply no exception to it.
Zoey, JD, Criminal lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 24038
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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