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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48193
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Can the British Embassy help a British Soldier with no access

Customer Question

Can the British Embassy help a British Soldier with no access to money get home from Ghana that was hurt in a road accident and spent time in a Medical Centre for which he had to pay for treatment.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How have you sent the money so far?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I sent the money by money gram
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the money was urgent as he needed blood transfusion so sent it via money gram
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I am afraid to say that this is almost 100% a scam. The first important thing you should be aware of is that it is never possible to state with certainty whether someone you have met online is genuine or not unless you have actually met them in person. Therefore, there will inevitable be a degree of speculation involved. With the anonymity of the internet, there has been a very significant increase in romance scams that involve military personnel. The main way to identify such scams is not by tracing the person, which as mentioned would often be impossible, but by looking at the overall situation and identifying certain 'red flags'. The most common ones are: 1. You have met this person online, usually through a dating or social networking website, or instant messaging.2. They will claim that they are a current or past member of the Army and are currently based abroad.3. They will strike a long-distance relationship with you, they are very pleasant and romantic, some even fall in love straight away. They may take time to gain your trust, although often the relationship progresses unnaturally fast.4. They may use a photo of a soldier, although these can easily be obtained over the internet so there is no guarantee that this is the person you have been talking to. You can actually try and trace the photo to see if it has been used elsewhere by using Google’s ‘Search by Image’ facility: http://www.google.com/insidesearch/searchbyimage.html5. They will always use a free email address that is not affiliated to the Army. It may look like it's genuine but it won't be. You can request that they provide you with that address and communicate through it, but often they will refuse to do so.6. They often ask for money, citing various reasons, which usually include: fees to have their leave authorised, travel expenses, medical expenses, for phone vouchers, etc. However, the golden rule is that soldiers will never be expected to pay to take leave or travel home so none of these requests are genuine. Here are some examples of these scams: http://netpatrol.org/consumer-issues_military-personnel-scam-scammer-impersonates-us-soldier_113.html7. They request that the payment is made via some dubious money transfer method, with little or no fraud protection, such as Western Union, Moneygram, etc. These methods are also commonly used as the person on the other side will be extremely difficult to trace8. They will be based in countries where the scams originate. They will have a fancy story as to why they are there but in reality the scammers will simply be operating from there and they need an excuse as to why that ‘soldier’ would be there. So your ‘friend’ will most likely be based in Nigeria or Ghana. If the above looks familiar, chances are that the person you are involved with is a fraudster and you need to proceed with extreme caution, if at all. I strongly suggest you cease all contact with the person and certainly not send anything else to them. 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. You may also report this to your local police station as they are capable of dealing with scam reports, although they will rarely get involved unless you have suffered any losses. I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have seen this person via photo's along with the dates on the photo's when they were taken when he was on Patrol duty in Kabul. I do know about the scams but I do believe this one is a genuine person going by the dates on the photo's and they were exactly what they said they would be. When he is home in England he lives in Manchester. However I will take a look through the links you have sent, I just thought I would see if the British Embassy could do anything to help get him home to his 15 year old son. Thank you for your help.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
http://netpatrol.org/consumer-issues_military-personnel-scam-scammer-impersonates-us-soldier_113.html ... I have had a look at this one and nothing in it refers to what he has said or asked me to do involving money. Just thought I would let you know. Thanks again Ben.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. I must say that having dealt with dozens and dozens of scams there is every thing I would expect to see in one here - I have seen it all before and the links to Ghana and the requests that have been made, plus the way you have been asked to pay. It all links together. Do not be fooled by the fact you have photos with dates, that means nothing and it is very easy to fake photos these days with the software that is available, you would not be able to tell the difference between a real and fake. Be very very careful with this one I certainly do not have a good feeling about this and I am only saying this due to years of dealing with such scams
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK I won't be sending any more money anyway Ben thank you again.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, all the best