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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47334
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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How can I tell I am being scammed? I met this person last

Resolved Question:

How can I tell I am being scammed? I met this person last June called Kerry Walsh and he had an import/export company in London and travelled all over the world working. He went to do a deal in Helsinki and was going to come to me afterwards but he then went with his agent to Ghana. He was buying gold and was £10,000 short of the £120,000 he needed gold. I have copies of the receipt I sent £10,000 and I sent it to his agent as he had no bank account in Ghana. I have since sent him amounts of £100 and £150 directly to him in the name of Kerry Walsh, do you know what identification he would have to produce to receive the money?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. how did you send the money?

Customer:

By bank transfer

Customer:

The others is sent Money Gram

Ben Jones :

Where was the bank account?

Customer:

In Accra, I can get you the name

Ben Jones :

it's ok thanks

Ben Jones :

let e get my response ready please

Customer:

It was to someone called Nana Orfali Sam, a/c No 2001700923701 at the National Investment Bank, 76 Osu Oxford Street

Ben Jones :

By the way did you meet this person face to face?

Customer:

no I haven't but have been speaking to him on-line since last June

Ben Jones :

were you promised anything in return that money or was it just like a loan?

Customer:

yes he was bringing the gold back here and he was moving to Scotland

Customer:

He said we would make a big profit on the gold

Customer:

so that we can retire

Ben Jones :

This is quite likely to be a scam. Such types of scams, known as ‘advance-fee fraud’ are unfortunately extremely common these days and many unsuspecting people fall . I have seen plenty of stories involving gold and certain countries like Ghana and Nigeria, where such scams mainly originate from.

The best way to spot these is by identifying specific 'red flags' that are almost always present. The following are the most common hallmarks of such scams and if they sound familiar then you can almost guarantee you are involved in a scam:



  • You meet someone online, not in person and whilst they may have a background story, eventually a request is made, with the promise of a good return to your investment. Gold is often used in these stories as it sounds quite lucrative and tempting.

  • Tempted by the potential return, you pay the money in good faith. The usual request is to be sent via Western Union, Moneygram, prepaid cards, etc. These are the favoured payment methods used by fraudsters as it is extremely difficult to trace them that way. In your case you may have made a bank transfer and whilst this is not uncommon, it does not mean that this is genuine

  • Once the money has been sent, the fraudster either stops all contact and the money never materializes, or they return and ask payments due to new unsuspected issues.


In terms of collecting the money, the MoneyGram payments are quite easy to get. The person only needs identification in the name of the receiving party an often they use fake IDs. The bank transfer may be your best bet at tracing these people but it could be that they had a bank account open, received the money and withdrew it, closing the bank account immediately afterwards.

The main issue is taking this matter further. I must advise you that it is very rare of such scams to get any money back, or scammers to be dealt with. The reasons are as follows:

1. These people are located abroad, often in countries where the authorities are far from efficient at dealing with such crimes. Also as there are far too many scams like this there are simply not enough resources to deal with them all.

2. Tracing the scammers is extremely difficult as they often operate from public internet cafes and can easily blend in with the general public and cannot be identified. They use the anonymity of the internet to its full extent.

3. Even if you manage to find them you can't force the authorities to act and apprehend them and to get you any money back. To do this you have to sue them, which as this will be happening between different countries will be very complex and expensive. Even if you win there is certainly no guarantee that they will reimburse you as the funds are likely to have been hidden or already distributed.

If you wish to report this, all scams can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300(###) ###-####or by visiting http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud. There is only so much the local police here can do though so do not rely too much on them.


Customer:

Thanks

Ben Jones :

you are welcome

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