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A man from Norway who says he's from Florida wants me to invest a suitcase full of money. I told him to send it to the local police department and I would pick it up there. Of course, he insists he will lose it if the Express Security company who is holding his money goes bankrupt so wants to have a security person deliver the money to my house. What is this scam do you think?

Update. When I said no to have the suitcase of money delivered to me he said his young daughter had an accident and is in the LEKMA hospital in Ghana. He said she is dying and the hospital won't help her unless I send $1150. They gave me the Bank, etc., but the payment was going to a person, not the hospital. I questioned this and now he says if I don't pay the money he will track me down and kill my family.

I called the local police and they say there's nothing they can do. I tried to turn it in with the FBI but received a webpage that said there was a glitch and they didn't get it. I also tried the Attorney Generals office. They pointed me to the FBI. I guess I'm at the point I hope he really isn't here in the US and able to actually track me down! At least I never sent any money. I emailed the hospital to see if Naomi Routier was a critical patient there. I haven't heard back from them yet.

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    Pretty much any time someone contacts you with a financial proposition, you should conclude that it is for their benefit, not yours. – zeta-band Aug 9 at 20:39
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    Ask yourself why a complete stranger on the Internet would want to send you (as wonderful and deserving as you surely are) a suitcase full of money. – RonJohn Aug 9 at 21:14
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    Heck, ask yourself why a close friend would want to send you a suitcase full of money. – RonJohn Aug 9 at 21:15
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    ted.com/talks/… – jcaron Aug 9 at 22:33
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    I voted to close because the question: "what is this scam do you think?" is just an opinion. What isn't in doubt is that it is a scam. – mhoran_psprep Aug 10 at 10:45
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The possibilities are endless. (The only thing that's not in doubt is that it's a scam, and if you're not in on designing it, you're an intended victim. Very often even if you think you're in on it).

  • It could be a money-laundering operation. (That's pretty much the only real-world situation that involves suitcases full of genuine cash).

  • Or an advance-fee scam where a "courier" would show up on your doorstep with a suitcase and demand that you pay a delivery fee. (The suitcase is locked; that will not be the "courier"'s problem).

  • Or, as another advance-fee variant, you hear that the suitcase is being detained by authorities when it's almost gotten to you, and they need you to supply money for customs or bribes.

  • Or you actually receive a suitcase, but most of the apparent cash in it is false. The scammers hope that by the time you're caught you will have succeeded in depositing some of the counterfeit money in a bank and "invested" it in targets they control.

  • I caught him in one lie. He said his son died right after his divorce. Then later he said he would move to Idaho with his son. He said he wants to invest in a boarding school and medical facility. – Cindi Bethel-Carmona Aug 9 at 20:40
  • @CindiBethel-Carmona people regularly invest large large sums of money on a regular basis without using cash. (Of course, rich people used to also carry large sums of cash to Switzerland...) – RonJohn Aug 9 at 21:24
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    I agree this is a scam. I just am curious how they make it work. You people have given good input...like money launder and some fake cash. After telling him to deliver the cash to the local police department I sent of picture of me standing in front of a police car with a thumbs up :-) – Cindi Bethel-Carmona Aug 9 at 21:42
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    @CindiBethel-Carmona Now they have a genuine picture of you. Better to just leave the scammers for the police to handle. – Lawrence Aug 10 at 9:40
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    "He said his son died right after his divorce. Then later he said he would move to Idaho with his son." It's possible to have two sons. – RonJohn Aug 24 at 20:29
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It‘s called a confidence game

The goal is to create certainty in your mind that the briefcase full of money is real. (A confidence you will not further question). This includes your confidence in them.

Once you have that clarity, it will seem natural to jump through whatever hoops needed to get the briefcase. These hoops will be orchestrated by your "partners" to advantage them, i.e. Paying "customs agents" (actually them) or "bribes" (to actually them). It will be obvious that you are losing money, but this will feel OK/natural given a big payoff later. Even the risk will seem OK due to the size of the reward.

Of course the briefcase does not exist.

What is real is motivation, or mens rea - guilty mind. If they can get you to scheme to acquire money knowing it's not yours and you didn't earn it, presuming someone else is entitled to it and taking it from them - well, there's no such thing as a halfway crook. You'd no longer be a victim, but a willing participant in a game they're much better at.

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    When I told him I would "NOT" accept any money unless he sent it to the police station or FBI here. Then the story changed to he needs to get to Idaho and needs $1400 for the airline ticket which, of course, will be paid back in double. I told him no to that also. My friend in India says this is a typical Northern Indian scam. – Cindi Bethel-Carmona Aug 10 at 21:48
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    You should stop responding to him. – onnoweb Aug 13 at 20:42

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