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My girl friend says she has paid the tax on 3.6 million us dollars and is now waiting for a code of transfer from the world bank to be able to transfer funds to any account in the world. It requires 10,000.00 to get this C O T. Does this sound right to you?

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    You(your girlfriend) got scammed or are being. $3.6 million, that isn't a small amount. Ask the bank to deduct it from the $3.6 million and you will learn the truth.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 8:20
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    I get e-mails almost every day from "women" who claim that they want to be, or are, my girlfriend and wanting to transfer large sums of money to my account if I will only send them the bank fee (or a bribe) to get the money out of the country they are in. It is a scam. Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 14:19
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    It's a variation of the "Nigerian Prince" scam. Here is a community who make it their mission to waste the time and effort of these scammers. 419eater.com
    – Myles
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 18:22
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    Have you ever met this girl, in real life? Commented May 13, 2016 at 15:04

2 Answers 2

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This is a scam.

Firstly, the World Bank provides loans to developing countries, not money transfer services for individuals.

Additionally, the fee suggested is astronomical for a simple funds transfer. It would also be normal for the sender to pay any such fees, deducting it from the amount sent if necessary.

Even aside from that, it sounds too good to be true which means it probably is. Do you have reason to think you or your friend might be due a $3.6 million inheritance? What guarantee would you have that the 10,000 wouldn't just disappear once paid?

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This is a scam, the technical name for which is the Advance Fee scam.
Any transaction whatsoever in which someone asks you for money up front for any reason is an Advance Fee scam. Here are a few:
1. You're looking for an apartment. Someone advertises a list of apartments that for some reason are not going to show up at the regular letting agents' offices. They're all great bargains at the price. The list costs you $100, and the person offering it says that this is far less than you would save on phone calls and transport looking at other, pricier, less worthy apartments. If you actually get a list, and it has genuine entries in it, they will not be any different from what you would have gotten elsewhere, without paying a fee.
2. You're looking for a job. As in case #1, someone has a list of highly desirable jobs and the list will cost you $100, or maybe $500 in this case. You're in the same situation as you were in when you bought the list of apartments.
Such scams are not always prohibited - it depends on where you are. Note that you are being scammed by locals, not Nigerian princes.
3. The Nigerian and other exotic princes and assorted dignitaries want you to help them move large sums of dirty money. Nobody in their own countries will back them to the extent of the few thousand dollars it takes in bribes, fees, kickbacks or whatever to release the money. What does this tell you about them in the first place? Why you, in the second place?
4. You are being offered a good job in your field abroad. Everything seems perfectly legit. All is ready and waiting. All you have to do now is pony up some visa and processing fees, and perhaps put down a refundable deposit on the luxurious accommodation you will be enjoying. You do all that, then - nothing...
5. As above - but now, instead of fees and deposits, there are two other candidates ahead of you, but the recruiter has a financial problem and whoever can help with that gets the job. All the candidates help - one gets the job. Maybe. And who gets a refund? Nobody - bribes are not refundable, and can't even be claimed as a legitimate expense on your income tax.
Then there's money that falls from the sky:
6. Out of the blue, a long-lost uncle previously unknown to you dies, and his lawyers want to send you lots of money. All you have to pay is fees and death duties... It may not be a dead uncle, it may be a tax refund, or a class action payout for cancer victims, or any other event much rarer in real life than two successive lightning bolts from a clear sky.
7. The most pitiable victims are those who fall for the beautiful heiress who found your picture "on the Web site" and fell in love with it. Just send her the money to get away from her evil relatives, and she and her inheritance are yours for life.
Next to people like these, the visa scammers and the romance scammers are small fry.
In all these cases, the scammers depend on your initial gullibility, which hooks you in the first place. Then your all-too-human inability to accept you have been scammed will keep you hooked. Mark Twain said it's much easier to fool someone in the first place than to convince him he's been fooled. Scammers can keep on working the same scams because victims are often too embarrassed to complain. Also, they might think that they have been involved in illegal dealings, and they might be right. So complaining will get them into trouble.
How to protect yourself?
1. Don't allow your greed to overcome your caution. If your gut tells you this is a scam, go with your gut. You will only lose what you never had.
2. If you never heard of your uncle, never bought a lottery ticket, never paid hundreds of thousands in taxes, never joined a class action suit -- don't believe anyone who says these things have resulted in a sudden windfall. But if you do believe them, don't send the money - tell them to take it out of the windfall. Tell them to take twice as much, rather than send anything up front.
3. When dealing with agencies, insist on itemized invoices for all claims, and itemized receipts for all payments, and make sure that the documents say what the item is: so for instance a bribe should not appear as "Sundries" or "Visa fees".
4. If a desirable person of any sex contacts you out of the blue and falls at your feet, ask yourself why the people around you don't do that. If you're so hot, you should be getting laid so often there's no time to read these bolt-from-the-blue emails.
And most of all:
5. If it's too good to be true, it isn't.
The one rule that will always protect you:
Use Western Union to send telegrams, not money.

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