6

I met someone online three weeks ago.

Supposedly an electrical engineer from Miami. Went to Lagos for one week to do an electrical job. Now is in Dubai to sign contract on another electrical job.

Left his wallet, debit card, credit cards, drivers license, etc. in the room. Now he is in Dubai and the supposedly hotel manager said for me to western union (this is what he told me) $150.00 to him at the hotel and he will Fed-Ex or UPS the items to my home address.

Upon receipt, the engineer will give me his password to the Bank of America account so he can access his account.

I feel very strange about this especially since he said that he talked to the bank to notify them to lock his account until further notice.

Can you please help me with this? I am so scared to do this. It almost sounds like a form of money laundering or something.

I will be happy to answer anything additional that I know if you need anything further. I am on a fixed income and so afraid this might be a scam.

I am supposed to call him in the next hour or so and let him know if I will be doing this tomorrow.

Please try to help me. I am very scared. Thank you, Linda

  • 14
    Scam. For one electrical engineers don't do "electrical jobs". Electricians do, two very different skill sets. All that being said it is not money laundering, it is an effort for you to send $150 that you will never see again. Don't call him, and if he calls you consider changing your number. – Pete B. Jun 6 '16 at 16:15
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    There's honestly, very, very few legitimate reasons for a regular person to ever use Western Union/Wire Transfers for anything. It's a huge red flag. For a business doing international business, it makes more sense, but before you ever walk down to Wal Mart or where ever to do a Wire Transfer, always Stop and think about it a good while. – SnakeDoc Jun 6 '16 at 21:09
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    Lagos should be an huge red flag by itself... – Rui F Ribeiro Jun 6 '16 at 22:16
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    @SnakeDoc I've heard that people who are supporting families in other countries by sending them money frequently use these services. Obviously not relevant to this question though. – Justin Lardinois Jun 7 '16 at 0:13
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    People lose their wallets while traveling all the time. They manage to deal with the problem by contacting any combination of their bank, credit card company, family, employer, or consulate, just to name a few resources available. There is no legitimate reason why emailing strangers overseas would be a part of the process. Please stop responding to anybody who presents a story like this. – Zach Lipton Jun 7 '16 at 1:48
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Definitely a scam. Don't call him or do anything. Stay calm, there is no damage done yet.

I met someone online three weeks ago. ... Left his wallet, debit card, credit cards, drivers license, etc. in the room

In the entire world its only you he can bank upon ... someone whom hes met online just few weeks ago; there are no relatives, friends !!!

why would the hotel manager Fed-Ex or UPS the items to my home address ...

and not to his own address?

Upon receipt, the engineer will give me his password to the Bank of America account so he can access his account

Why doesn't he have internet?

I am supposed to call him in the next hour or so and let him know if I will be doing this tomorrow.

Don't call. Don't reply.

The $150 is just a starter bait to see if one is gullible enough to take it and then there is more and more by different ways.

  • 2
    Thank you so much. I truly appreciate this. I was wondering why he could call his bank and freeze everything but then send his items to me and then have me access everything so he can pay for his hotel room, etc. Do you know the purpose of that? What is sending $150.00 going to help anyone? He even said he would give me the pass code to his debit account and wanted me to take out $1,000.00 to pay for my divorce. Again, thank you so much. Is there more information that I could review and become more knowledgeable about this type of scam? – Linda Bonnell Jun 6 '16 at 17:54
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    @LindaBonnell: I think it's quite simple: You send him $150, he keeps it and then simply doesn't do any of the other stuff he talked about. Maybe he will send you a bogus UPS tracking number, or a BofA password that doesn't work, just to confuse you, and then there'll be a long discussion about technical problems with the UPS account - all to get you to forget about the money you gave him that you won't get back. Or maybe he'll come up with some other story to get you to send some more. – Nate Eldredge Jun 6 '16 at 18:19
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    @LindaBonnell Generally the 150 is a start. It's not a large amount and generally not worth scammed effort. There are 100's of different variations on what can happen next. He can send you a link and userid/password for a bogus website that would show his balance as 500K. You would try and move money and get some error. He would then come back and say now he has got internet access and he can set-up a pull arrangement from your account and ask for your bank details... or ask for more money under some other pretext. – Dheer Jun 7 '16 at 3:32
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Is there more information that I could review and become more knowledgeable about this type of scam?

In response to this, anytime anyone ask you to send money, for a bank password, bank account numbers, etc... It is most likely a scam.

For more education this search turned up an number of excellent resources.

2

The simple rule of thumb should be that you never loan money to people you don't know, especially people who seemingly find you out of the blue and have the most amazing stories like this one! (chuckle)
This is a scam almost as old as the internet itself, and there's no guidebook for anyone to read that can tell them how to avoid such silliness. It all comes down to simple common sense and gut instinct. This is someone you met online (you didn't say how, but that doesn't really matter), and shortly afterward they come up with a crazy tale that involves money transfers and bank account passwords...and you're really going to even contemplate doing it? I think yo know better, but you're probably a kindhearted person who has a tough time saying "no". You're exactly the kind of person these scams target. Give yourself some credit for being smarter than this, end the online friendship, and wish them luck in their endeavors.

Good luck!

  • 3
    It's not only strangers, it can be friends as well. Just because you receive an email from a good friend that he is in trouble somewhere in China and needs some money urgently, doesn't mean that the email is really coming from that good friend. These things can be forged. – gnasher729 Jun 10 '16 at 10:29
  • Very true. Good point, gnasher729. – Daniel Anderson Jun 10 '16 at 12:22

protected by Dheer Jun 25 '17 at 1:00

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