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For 7 months, I have been talking to a man I never met. Supposedly, he is in North Korea and has finished a project over there (contractual engineer on oil rig).

He wants to send me the money he received for the project: $3.5 million. Says he has an account in the US but is having some problems and he can't have it wired there. Wanted my bank information, but I would not give it to him. He wants me to open a new account so he can have it wired there. He also will need money to get home and has bills from his project that will need to be paid. Swears he is an honest, God-fearing man. Says I have nothing to worry about it even though the bank SCB is associated with scams.

Is there no other way for him to access his money without my help?

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    It's a scam. Walk away. Don't try to figure out the scam. If you want to send him money there are plenty of ways to do that, but you'll never see it again. – D Stanley Aug 31 at 19:01
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    Think about it the other way - why would someone with $3.5 Million trust someone they have never met to deposit it for them? – D Stanley Aug 31 at 19:03
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    Absolutely a scam. Someone with that much money would hire an attorney or accountant to do all of this for him. I'm sorry to hear you've been wasting 7 months of your time with this person. – TTT Aug 31 at 19:19
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    Thank you for confirming what I thought I knew. – Sue Sep 1 at 2:12
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    It's worth adding in this case that, were this a legitimate request, it would cause OP to violate sanctions in place against North Korea and this be highly illegal with severe penalties. – Eric Sep 2 at 11:29
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This is a scam. Stop replying to messages, do not give any information. Use your time for something fun like reading about different scams at Money.SE.

The way this scam works is:

  1. A cover story is given to lure in helpful or greedy people. Traditionally its someplace foreign but not unheard of. North Korea is a new one to me, historically they use Nigeria.
  2. The helpful or greedy mark will either let money be sent to their account or open a new account
  3. The thief will send money to that account from an illicit or stolen account
  4. The money will be available in the marks account
  5. The thief will have the mark send the money somewhere else
  6. The original deposit from step 2 will be caught and undone. The money will disappear from the marks account.
  7. The mark is now out the amount of the bad transfer. The mark may also be the target of legal investigations if they are suspected of being involved in stealing money or laundering money.

This is basically like a deadbeat acquiantance asking you to cash a fake $100 check for them. They'll have your $100 in cash and you'll be out another $100 when the bank figures out the check is fake.

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    I just want to add a caution that it might actually be a different scam. There are quite a few scams that start out this way. So don't think that if you protect yourself from this particular scam, you have nothing to worry about. – David Schwartz Sep 3 at 16:00
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    @DavidSchwartz that's a good point. I could see someone thinking, "Ahah! I'll open up a brand new account with no money in it. I'll give this nice man the info so he can deposit money, but after the money shows up I won't give any back to him, for, say, 60 days until I know for sure the money has cleared." Meanwhile, their identity gets stolen or their other accounts at the same bank suddenly get emptied through social engineering, or they get questioned by police for theft. – TTT Sep 3 at 17:02
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This has all the red flags:
(1) Person you don't know well and has no reason to reach out to you specifically.
(2) Wants your bank information
(3) Multi-Million dollar deals are not brokered with random internet people.
(4) Invokes religion to show you how trustworthy he is. Because a heathen liar would never lie about being religious. right?
(5) YOU STRAIGHT OUT SAID the bank involved is known for being part of scams
(6) Why wouldn't HE just open a new bank account and wire it there instead of asking you to do so?

Answer Key: The answer to quesitons 1,2,3,4,5,6 are "It's a scam"

Is there even one detail that points to it not being a scam?

Think about it this way. If you were this person and every fact they told you was true, would you email a random Internet person and trust them with millions of dollars? Don't you think you could a lawyer or banker to do this transaction for you instead of some random person? How are you such a successful businessperson with no trusted connections in business that can move money around?

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