I've read a question around scams on one of these forums so I thought I'd give it a go to ask your advice.
A friend who I generally trust, not a close friend, though, asked me per sms if he could send me money so that I could buy gift cards for him. He wanted to come from the UK to France, where I live, to do this himself, but he can't due to Covid restrictions.
He also called earlier today, but I was working, so I texted that I will call later.
I'll call later this evening to find out about his plans.
Should I pay attention to specific details here to not get involved in any illegal / scam activity?
Would be great to have some feedback. Jones
To get more specific on the relationship: It is the owner of a volunteering project in the UK. I stayed at his place for some time with other volunteers and I experienced him as a generous, active man, in his 50s, a bit lost maybe in his world sometimes. He reminds me of Gyro Gearloose. However, slower, with quite a belly, full of ideas, maybe not having the incredible brains of Gyro.
I've called him up and after digging a bit, he explained that he would need this for a "business partner" in France and it would involve several thousands of euros in the end. He tried to assure me that this would be totally legal, of course ;). I would have only to buy 160 "PCS" recharge coupons in tabac stores and send him a photo.
He agreed to follow up with an email with more details and I told to him that this whole story seems totally strange to me and that I have less doubts about him trying to scam me, but that he is actually the one who is getting scammed. He said that he had been scammed soo many times and started enumerating those incidences.
He mentioned that he could get my bank account number simply by putting in my phone number in his Revolut App, as I also use Revolut. I told him that this would be very surprising to me, and I asked him to try it out and send me an email with my bank details.
I am far away from getting engaged in this and will not take any money from him, however, I am leaning towards trying to uncover this story and maybe even saving him from being scammed.
Thanks for you help, it's good to have a community who cares and can give input like you do! Is anyone interested how this will continue?
UPDATE 2 -------
So he tells me that this business partner of my "friend" supposedly lives in La Reunion, a French island near Madagascar. He met her first in Canada and last met her before Christmas. He said that he sends this money voluntarily, it's money from his "business account" and that it's not money he received from anyone else. I explained to him that if he would have received this money from someone else, they could "undo" the transaction, leaving him with a lot of money spend, it's the way how those scams work. I've made clear that if he sends this money via this way to her, he will not be able to undo that transaction. He said that he would only "hope" to get this money back.
I am curious to know how far he would go. He might also be innocent, getting scammed himself or involved in some other illegal activity. That's why I proposed that he could send me the money through PayPal, explaining that this is a secure way to make sure that nobody, neither him, nor the bank could cancel the payment afterwards.
He agreed, has now set up his PayPal account up and I received a first euro as a "test", he just confirmed by phone that he would transfer more than 39.000 €.
In the case that he would send this money, can I be sure that he doesn't intent to scam me? This would leave me with a different feeling towards him and I would try to dig a bit deeper on his plan with this business woman.
I intent to not take it any further than this. I saw that there is a "refund" button in PayPal, so I assume that it would be easy for me to step out. So no comments are needed on to warn me on going further, even though many of you are very likely to be tempted ;)
I wonder if he got involved in some other activity, maybe not getting scammed, but being blackmailed, or so...
Any thoughts on this and how I could be of help if any help is even needed?