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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44932
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was recently approached by a friend to participate in an

Customer Question

I was recently approached by a friend to participate in an 'easy money making opportunity'. This opportunity involved my friend lending another friend of his (who I don't know) a sum of money so he could pay some legal costs as he is about to inherit a very large amount of money, and once in receipt it would be paid back with huge interest.
My friend claimed he had already handed over £10k to this person and asked if I would be prepared to hand over £6.5k to cover the remainder. I was obviously very dubious at first as my friend was not really forthcoming with many details, but he convinced me it would be made worth my while as he agreed with his other friend I would get back £25k for my £6.5k loan. I don't know the details of what he will be receiving for his own £10k stake, but can only assume it will be a lot greater.
Anyhow, after some thought I decided to take a gamble and told my friend I would be happy to transfer the £6.5k on the condition he writes me an email in the form of a contract stating it is a 'loan' between us of £6.5k and £25k will be paid back by the 16/9/16. I received this in writing (via email) and therefore I transferred the money on the 5/9/16. I also have a further email from him confirming the receipt of my money.
I have kept in contact with my friend since the money transferred, mainly by phone text messages for regular updates (which I have kept). I asked him on the 16/9/16 when the money was initially due if I would be receiving it that day - he apologized and said it would happen early the following week.
The following week came and went and still no sign of the money. I was told it was out of his control but he'll let me know when he has some news. I then asked again last Friday (as he was apparently meeting this other friend for a catch up), and all he told me was that it was a 'good' meeting but he'll know more the following week. I asked again this morning and was told 'its a longer process than we all thought' and he will let me know when he has some good news....its like a broken record.
I just want some advice on where I can go with this. I have everything in writing and I'm starting to doubt I will see this £25k return now. I'd just be happy with my £6.5k back as I am a small business on my own with a tax bill to pay by December and can't afford to lose this money. My friend knows this and assured me all will be fine, but I'm getting very nervous and losing sleep over it all now.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

How well do you know this friend?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Hi there, this very much appears to be a scam. Such types of scams, known as ‘advance-fee fraud’ are unfortunately extremely common these days and many unsuspecting people fall for them.

The best way to spot these is by identifying specific 'red flags' that are often present in the build-up to the scam. The following are the most common ones and if they sound familiar then you can almost guarantee you are involved in a scam:
• Someone contacts you and promises you a large sum of money. In this case it was in the form of a return for the initial ‘loan’ you were going to make. The promised return is frankly unrealistic and clearly aimed wt making this very attractive to you in order to entice you to part with your money, I mean, we are talking a three-fold return for nothing, this simply does not happen in genuine situations.
• Before you are able to receive the promised amount, you are asked to pay a sum of money for various reasons, which in this case was the amount for helping this mystery third party
• Tempted by the potential return, you pay the money in good faith. The usual request is for it to be sent via bank transfer, 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 and you also get no fraud protection.
• Once the money has been sent, the fraudster either stops all contact and the promised money never materializes, or they return and ask for further payments due to new unsuspected issues.

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. This would be the only realistic ways to try and get the money back.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

My full response should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating, selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

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