Am I being scammed?
Australians - contact
Fraud and Corporate Crime Group
State Crime Operations Command
Queensland Police Service
07 3364 6622
Police Assistance Line 131444
or contact CRIMESTOPPERS in your state
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 - 24hr online counselling
The Art of Being a Nobody - Painted by rules and regulations, pushed by brushes and pens, Set to dry, Wet Paint -
Do Not Touch, Framed.
Do Not Touch, Framed.
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If you are aged between 35-65, separated, widowed or divorced and listed on an online dating agency, chances that you are being scammed are high. If your lover is becoming a series of unfortunate events and
if your online lover is requesting money through Western Union and you have not yet met him in person, consider you are being scammed. If this person is lacking in respect towards your financial situation = SCAM. If you have begged, borrowed or stolen money for him, you are being scammed. If he asks any financial questions about transfers, payments, MTCN Numbers, you are being scammed. For those who refuse to accept the truth and would rather face the prospect of being jilted at a later date and prepare for the inevitable, you can do the following:
Tell them to go to their Embassy for help. If they don't do this, be suspicious. Ask for a copy of their Passport (which of course, they may have lost along with their wallet) and contact their country's Embassy and send them a copy of the passport (if they have one) along with their name and the name of the hotel they are staying in and any contact information you have for them (phone number of the hotel, email address etc).
The Embassy can send a case worker to the hotel if it is a legitimate case and an offer of an emergency loan to pay the bills (if outstanding) will be made. The person will then be required to return the money when they get back to their home country.
If the request is legitimate, the Embassy will arrange for financial help directly to the person involved. DO NOT SEND money via Western Union. If he tells you that it is costing him money at the Embassy for paperwork etc. Australian travellers can be given a reverse charge number to call for 24 hour consular assistance by contacting the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra.
You may tell your online lover that you have just called their country's embassy emergency services and have wired money to the embassy on their behalf and they are sending a representative over to the hotel on (date) to meet them and the hotel manager to pay the outstanding bills, provide a plane ticket and escort them to the airport so there there will be no trouble leaving the country. (this will give you time to investigate where their emails have been coming from, read up on scams, wonder why they are wealthy and have no contacts to ask for assistance, if they can IM well, then they will have several friends on their list, ask a friend to email him from her address and ask her to forward the email (IM) conversations, emails to you and then prepare to deal with the next step)
You have done everything within your power now and given it your best, there is nothing further you could do to make the trip home possible for them.
At this moment, you are about to find out that you are in the midst of becoming a Nobody - prepare yourself for the rejection NOW, if you send the money you will be FRAMED and find out you were a Nobody. You might just think that maybe I will never know if I don't send him the money but we know what he says is not true because the EMBASSY DID NOT HELP. - that is your biggest clue along with your first instinct about this guy. You have sent all his information to the Embassy, you have given him the reverse charge number, it was not a legitimate case. Stop minimizing the situation, you are dealing with a criminal who is trapping you, he is digitally trying to frame you behind your own monitor, the glass of your monitor is your frame, he has painted the picture so far with his grand plans for your future. Once he has the money, your frame is sealed by him and you can't get to him because the person used fake information to dupe you and you will be hung as though you were the baddie because it will appear to society as if it was your fault for giving him the money. Do not let anyone paint you in to a corner!
Tell him that the Embassy told you to not do anything as they will arrange everything and you do not want to go against a government official whose case worker is making arrangements. He will beg for money to feed himself, (do not feel sorry for him, he is after all a grown man, only a child would beg like this and he is because you are dealing with a teenager or a Lagos Lord as they call themselves, a bunch of University lads who dress like pimps) tell him to sell some items. If he needs money, ask him to sell his car, this can be arranged if he says he is from Australia. Tell him to sell his items, NOT YOURS. He can talk to the dealer direct and organize this himself. Do not accept any packages from him. Do not offer to resend any package for him as you may become part of his criminal activity and be prosecuted.
If he is asking you to sell your items, rather than his, he is a CROOK, no decent person would ask you to do this. Have you noticed that he drops out of IM (this is because he is talking to other victims) Check his online status on the Yahoo Detector on our tools page. Have you noticed that he sometimes sounds aggressive and at other times he is gentle (this is because you are not talking to just one man but several). Have you noticed that he has a University degree yet lacks English skills. Have you noticed that he called you handsome in one of his emails to you because he forgot to delete this from his last email when he was pretending to be a woman to some poor unfortunate man. These offenders are extremely greedy and will not stop until you stop talking to them, Lagos Lords want to be "the richest men in the world". He is not some poor starving African kid, he most likely looks like a NIKE representative.
And you will think, but how could anyone do this to someone.............you don't understand because this is your first encounter with a criminal, this is what criminals do, they harm other people to better their own lives. You cannot possibly understand the nature of these individuals, especially of one who professed to spend the rest of his life with you, the one you love. You are not stupid, he was waiting behind a profile like a black hole sucking you in, a booby trap on the internet and the internet is full of these black holes but you will feel stupid if you ignore all your doubts and transfer the funds. Keep the money for your family. If you are an Australian single parent, widower, on a disability allowance or a pension, you are probably living just near the poverty line yourself, you are not in a financial position to pay back money and could find yourself homeless or if you do the following, your children could be removed from your care whilst you serve time behind bars.
He may send you a key and papers for his home or his car or his workplace, take his photo to his neighbours and check with them that he actually lives in that house before entering or you may end up prosecuted for trespassing and stealing. Google Earth the address. If he sends you a key to a rental home, check with the neighbours first as most likely it belongs to another and you are being framed. If he sends you any papers, try to verify. Check electoral names at your local library or phone directories at any Australia Post Office. Check the Land Titles Registry in your state for a small fee with online results. Check to confirm his enrolment at the Australian Electoral Commission. Ask him the name of his company and run a free company name search at ASIC:. If he has an Australian company it has to be registered here, no excuses! Call the company, you will probably find he is in the country and the name he gave you may be a real name and that man may work at that company but it does not belong to the online lover you are talking to, scammers steal real names and occupations and it is a sure sign of a deceptive online lover and is rock-solid evidence that he is not the person you thought him to be. Once you are sure your lover is not who he says he is, logically assess the risks of the future relationship with him. Make a decision based on facts not lies. The hardest thing to do is to make the decision to stop your online relationship with him. Create a Google alert with your online lovers name and you will be notified of their name if it appears in the Google search engine.You need to take action to fix this deceptive situation and you need to get past believing the lies your online lover is telling you, don't let him get away with his lies and his impending betrayal, stop living with your endless doubts of "is he for real". If you have already said farewell to him with an explanation that you think he is a scammer, he will question you with a "did you send me this email or did you send me that text or I can't believe you said that" as though it comes as a surprise to him. He does this to make himself sound more authentic.
Your local Australian Police Officers will only tell you not to send the money to anyone you have never met and when you are framed, will just give you paperwork to fill in a Fraud Report. Your fraud report will go on a large pile of paperwork along with their daily fraud reports and their farewell advice "Do Not Send Money to Anyone you have never met over the internet". Most people will never see their money again and if you have helped him to steal, you will not want to report it DO NOT GET INVOLVED IN ANY ACTIVITY HE ASKS YOU TO DO, THIS INCLUDES ANY SALES OR ACCEPTING OR RE-SENDING OF ANYTHING. You are risking a criminal record, the police will turn up at your door because items/activity can be traced to you, he is in another country, Australian Police will not send staff over to another country to chase him up, even if you know the identity of the man behind the scam. You know how difficult it is to get any information from him regarding his residence, home phone numbers, work numbers etc. He avoids these questions, you won't be able to give the police any information that can trace him in Australia, he's not here, he never was here and he never will be here..
He may ask you to deposit a cheque for him and wants you to receive a small amount of earnings from the cheque for doing so and send the rest on to another address or account This will be stolen funds and you will be required to pay the bank back for the money when they realise it is fraudulent and the forwarding address was set up for receiving stolen goods and is fraudulent also.
He will continue begging and some other scam will arise - perhaps a car crash and end up in the hospital and need medical bills to be paid (once again, refer them to the Embassy and follow the above instructions,). Keep reading up on romance scams, enter your scammers name in to Google, enter photos in to scamdigger on romancescams.com. Join a scam group and chat in their rooms for instant advice.
There is no-one who will investigate the scam for you apart from the Nigerian Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Queensland Police in Australia (for Australians only) so block the scammer and notify the dating site and have his profile removed or post your story to scamwatch.gov.au and romancescams.com which is American so others dealing with him will find out he is a scammer or you could learn how to scambait and keep the criminal occupied. If you are Australian and have sent money, check that he has claimed it with Western Union and request that it be cancelled - call them on 1800 173 833 immediately.
Try to recall any sent emails that may contain personal photos or information by using a false excuse to request your scammer to delete the mail received from you. You could try a subject header such as VIRUS WARNING in the subject of your email, tell them that you think your computer has been infected by a virus and that they should immediately delete any e-mails/attachments received from you recently before discontinuing your relationship.
The memory of your online relationship now reads like a diary which has torn-out pages and fabricated meanings. If you have sent a large amount of money and are still in an online relationship with him and consider him a scammer contact Queensland Police who have been successful with setting up stings with the Nigerian Financial Crimes Commission. Always attend your local police station in person and verify the police details if contacted, as this may be another scam and a further effort for you to part with your money. A scammer is likely to use a policeman's name and set up his own sting where he becomes the director of the repatriation.
If you still think he is genuine, contact your solicitor for advice or speak to your GP for a free private second opinion. (Australians only, Medicare bulk-billing practitioners only).
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