Information on romance scams and scammers.
#42707 by Busy Boy Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:25 am
Hi, I've posted this on the 419eater site, but realised I might get a quicker response on here. Before I go any further with this I stress this is not a fictional situation, the guy I'm talking about is a very nice, honest, but somewhat naive bloke and I need to help him beofre he commits total folly!

My brother-in-law has been corresponding with a girl he met on the net.

She is from Benin and claims to be a nursery nurse. She says she wants to get away from home for a while and has arranged a passport and flights to come to Scotland. She is due to fly over tomorrow from Cotonou via Paris, arriving in Edinburgh at around 8am on Tuesday.

She has sent him pictures of her new passport, UK Visa and flight tickets with numbers which stack up for the flights and times she says shes using.

On Friday she e-mailed to say (and here he gets vauge as he is not very worldly savvy) there is a local agency that require her to show she has sufficient funds to support herself in her absence i.e. £20 per day, she's spent all her money on tickets, can he send her the money to show the 'Agency'? She promises to change it to travellers cheques and give it back to him when she 'arrives'. It transpires from the images she's sent him she has booked her flight back for June 2011 so she needs £3600.

I've warned him about West Africa being the world centre for scammers, but he still can't belive she's not genuine, he even went to the local Western Union office yesterday, but got cold feet. How can I show him it's a scam?

Oh, forgot to say, her name is apparently 'Precious'.

Thanks in advance, Paul
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#42708 by Michelle Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:40 am
Hello Busy Boy

I was just reading your post over at 419eater.com

It seems that your brother-in-law is writing to a scammer.

The things you have just described are a classic tactic of a Romance Scammer - money difficulties before traveling.

Please see our overview of Romance Scams by following this internal link:-

http://scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=25

It would be helpful if you could post copies of any of the e-mails that he has received (just be sure to remove your brother-in-law's details but keep those of his 'girl-friend')

#42710 by Michael Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:47 am
Hi busy boy, welcome to scamwarners.

You are completely right that it is a scam. There is no such agency, there is no such law. The girl he is chatting with also most likely is a guy. If you could provide us a little more (email adress, early emails,...) we can do a search and the odds are big that the scripts are posted online somewhere, or that the email adress is flagged as a scammer.

Please post anything you have/ anything you know about the scammer, so we can do a more exat search. Try to get your brother-in-law to this site and let him read some of the love scam scripts in the romance section, perhaps he'll notice that there is one thing that always comes back - "send some money through western union, I'll promise I'll pay you back.."

ETA - I see Michelle was faster than me :)

Account inactive - messages are not being monitored
#42713 by David Jansen Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:14 am
If your brother-in-law doesn't believe you, just ask him to do a search for her name. Precious is used by various scammers, and there should be enough hits to similar scam e mails posted on the internet.

Being a victim doesn't mean you stand alone. We're here to help you.
#42714 by Busy Boy Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:28 am
I've just asked him to forward the e-mails to me and I'll post them, and thanks, I appreciate the speedy responses, apparently 'she' has e-mailed him again this morning stressing she is flying tomorrow and needs the money desperately! :D
#42725 by jolly_roger Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:08 am
Hello Busy Boy.
Iam also certain it's a scam.The old excuse of 'require her to show she has sufficient funds to support herself in her absence i.e. £x amount per day, she's spent all her money on tickets, can he send her the money' is also a favourite ploy of the russian scammers just before they are supposedly due to travel.
Of course if your brother-in-law was to send the money to his so called lady, the next thing he would hear is some excuse as to why she cannot travel.
He then is left in no mans land. He will not meet the girl and the money will be gone forever.
Quite possibly it's not even a female he's corresponding with.
I know it's not easy - because some of us have been in the same situation.
#42738 by Busy Boy Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:28 pm
Below are a selection of the e-mails he's been sent, I'm not sure how to copy them across so the origin can be properly interrogated, any help in that area gratefully received!

'Proof' of life!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2010 20:58:25 -0800
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re:Hello
To:

Good morning dear,

It was nice to hear from you again and i am glad you got back home safely last night...i was worried when i did not hear from you yesterday well i believe you were busy all day. The principal consultant says that the visa interview is schedule this friday and hopefully everything will be successful.

Take care dear and have a nice and wonderful sleep looking forward to hear from you today and also i have attached a copy of my passport to this email.

Hugs and kisses,

Precious

Image



'Proof'that she's booked her flights
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2010 08:01:46 -0800
From: [email protected]
Subject: Flight itinerary for miss precious wijan
To:




--- On Mon, 12/9/10, AirFrance <[email protected]> wrote:


From: AirFrance <[email protected]>
Subject: Votre réservation Air France en attente de paiement
To: [email protected]
Date: Monday, December 9, 2010, 3:17 PM










Référence de votre dossier : 4NGPBA Statut : A confirmer

Votre dossier a été créé le Lundi 9 décembre 2010



Votre voyage
Votre vol : Cotonou - Edimbourg
Lundi 20 décembre 2010 AF805 - Voyageur 23:45 Cotonou, Cotonou (COO), Bénin - Terminal
Heure Limite d'Enregistrement : 22:45
05:55 Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), FRANCE
Effectué par : Air France Appareil : Airbus A340-300 Repas à bord : Repas Petit-déjeuner
Classe de réservation : K Temps de vol: 06h10, sans escale Franchise : 2 bagages par passager
Mardi 21 décembre 2010 AF5050 - Voyageur 07:15 Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), FRANCE - Terminal 2E
Heure Limite d'Enregistrement : 06:45
08:20 Edimbourg, Edinburgh (EDI), ROYAUME UNI
Effectué par : CityJet Appareil : Avro RJ85 Repas à bord : Snack
Classe de réservation : K Temps de vol: 02h05, sans escale Franchise : 2 bagages par passager

Votre vol : Edimbourg - Cotonou
Vendredi 17 juin 2011 AF5051 - Voyageur 09:10 Edimbourg, Edinburgh (EDI), ROYAUME UNI - Terminal
Heure Limite d'Enregistrement : 08:40
12:20 Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), FRANCE
Effectué par : CityJet Appareil : Avro RJ85 Repas à bord : Snack
Classe de réservation : K Temps de vol: 02h10, sans escale Franchise : 2 bagages par passager
Vendredi 17 juin 2011 AF804 - Voyageur 13:50 Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), FRANCE - Terminal 2C
Heure Limite d'Enregistrement : 12:50
19:05 Cotonou, Cotonou (COO), Bénin
Effectué par : Air France Appareil : Airbus A340-300 Repas à bord : Repas Snack
Classe de réservation : K Temps de vol: 06h15, sans escale Franchise : 2 bagages par passager


Si vous souhaitez transporter des bagages plus lourds que le poids autorisé, vous devrez acquitter un supplément lors de votre enregistrement.
Pour connaître le coût éventuel d'une franchise supplémentaire, consultez votre dossier sur notre site internet, onglet Informations Pratiques.


Paiement
Tarif hors taxes : 00 XOF
Taxes et surcharges : 00 XOF
Frais de service : 00 XOF
Montant total TTC : 00 XOF



Passagers
precious wijan
Numéro(s) de billet : non émis
Vous pourriez accumuler 7396 miles sur ce voyage en devenant membre de notre programme de fidélité Flying Blue. Pour cela, rendez vous sur notre site Internet!




Conditions tarifaires
Le tarif est valable uniquement si le billet est utilisé dans l'ordre séquentiel des coupons.
Votre vol : Cotonou - Edimbourg
aModification avant départ du vol aller : Autorisé sans frais
Modification après départ du vol aller* : Autorisé sans frais
Remboursement avant départ du vol aller : Autorisé sans frais
Remboursement après départ du vol aller* : Non autorisé

Votre vol : Edimbourg - Cotonou
aModification avant départ du vol aller : Autorisé sans frais
Modification après départ du vol aller* : Autorisé sans frais
Remboursement avant départ du vol aller : Autorisé sans frais
Remboursement après départ du vol aller* : Non autorisé



Toute modification peut entraîner un complément tarifaire en sus des éventuels frais de modification
* Attention, selon le tarif acquitté, cette condition de modification ne s'applique pas si vous ne vous présentez pas sur le vol aller.

Votre tarif vous permet de modifier vos informations voyage sur notre site Internet à tout moment. Pour cela, veuillez vous rendre sur la rubrique Gérer vos réservations.




Préférences
precious wijan Repas Statut N° Siège Statut
COO - PAR - - - -
PAR - EDI - - - -
EDI - PAR - - - -
PAR - COO - - - -


[b]'Proof' of the need for travelling allowance[b]
----------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 23:43:08 -0800
From: [email protected]
Subject: BTA
To: XXX

SUPREME DEGREE NO 1121-REGULATION IN APPLICATION
OF LAW 1007 ON TRAVELLING BY AIR POLICY
RE: PRECIOUS WIJAN


GOODDAY MISS PRECIOUS,

THIS IS TO BRING TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU MUST ACQUIRED YOUR BASIC TRAVELING ALLOWANCE (BTA). IT IS A MUST THAT ALL CITIZEN LEAVING BENIN DU REPUBLIC MUST HAVE A BASIC TRAVELING ALLOWANCE EVEN IF A LETTER OF INVITATION WAS SEND.

ARTICLE 1:
THE AIM OF THE PRESENT INSTRUMENT IS TO ESTABLISHED REGULATION ON THE PROVISION OF LAW No.1007 BASED ON TRAVELING BY AIR POLICY

ARTICLE 2:
i). THE OBJECTIVES ARE TO PROMOTE AND FACILITATE THE APPLICATION OF LAW AND ALSO PROTECT THE IMAGE OF THE COUNTRY IN RESPECT OF ALL TRAVELERS LEAVING BENIN MAINLY CITIZEN.

ii). TO MAKE SURE ALL TRAVELERS LEAVING BENIN IS CAPABLE OF TAKING CARE OF HIS OR HERSELF WHILE ON ANOTHER COUNTRY.

ARTICLE 3:
CATEGORIES OF AFFECTED

ARTICLE 1: AIM
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS LAW IS TO INTRODUCE BASIC ALLOWANCE THIS IS THE FUND REQUIRED OR EXPECTED FROM INDIVIDUAL LEAVING REPUBLIC DU BENIN TO HOLD ALONG WHILE LEAVING THE COUNTRY ABROAD.

BASIC TRAVELING ALLOWANCE IS NOT A PAYMENT IT WILLL ONLY BE SHOWN AT THE AIRPORT TO THE IMMIGRATION BEFORE BOARDING. NO TRAVELER SHOULD GIVE THIS FUND TO ANYBODY AS PAYMENT AT THE AIRPORT.

ARTICLE 2: OBJECTIVES
i). INFORMATION HAS REACHED OUR DESK THAT MOST PEOPLE TRAVELING TO OTHER COUNTRIES RENDER THEMSELVES USELESS ON THE STREET. MOST ARE NOT CAPABLE OF TRAVELING AT ALL THEY LEAVE HERE TO ENGAGE IN ROBBERY IN ANOTHER COUNTRY AS SO TO SPOIL THE IMAGE OF THIS COUNTRY AND GIVEN THE COUNTRY BAD NAMES.

ii). ALL TRAVELERS HOLDING BASIC TRAVELING ALLOWANCE ARE EXPECTED TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF THEMSELVES SHOULD IN CASE THEY GOT MISSING AND WILL BE CAPABLE TO DO ANYTHING INSTEAD OF BEGGING OR ENGAGING IN DIRTY ACTIVITES.

ARTICLE 3:
BASIC TRAVELING ALLOWANCE VARIES WITH THE TYPE OF VISA THE TRAVELER IS TRAVELING WITH:

TOURIST VISA:3600GBP
BUSINESS VISA:5400GBP
STUDENT VISA:900GBP
#42739 by Michael Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:11 pm
Perhaps we can convince your brother in law by showing him what google has to say about the Basic Traveling Allowance (BTA): Google Search Link (click)

Just one of the many results, all telling the same:
*Dating tips/relationship advice site's opinion on the BTA

Every other result is people asking questions about it and being explained it is a scam. Let him do a search on Basic Traveling Allowance (BTA).

Account inactive - messages are not being monitored
#42741 by Dotti Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:50 pm
Ok, first of all, let's start with two key words in the email from the airline. Subject: Your Air France booking pending payment. In other words, the tickets have not been bought. The scammer simply went through online booking (which requires no identification of any kind--you could enter the name "Peter Pan" and it would still go through) to the point of payment, and then stopped. This is a common practice when scammers are pretending they are about to travel.

Then we have our favorite fake fee--the BTA. Scammers have been using this imaginary payment for years, and I'm sad to say that a very large number of people have fallen for it. IT DOES NOT EXIST.

As Michael said, just google "BTA scam" and see what you get. There is no such thing as a required allowance to LEAVE a country. in some cases, you have to be able to prove you have money to get a visa to ENTER a country--this is generally to ensure that you don't enter the country and then start living off their system. Even in this case, the required evidence is in the form of bank statements/ letters/proof of property ownership, etc--not cash.

The "law" itself also makes absolutely no sense. A government protecting its citizens is not going to require that they carry large amounts of cash when traveling to a strange country. That is about as unsafe as you can get! Governments also don't publish statements that accuse large number of their citizens of being criminals!

Need to post photos? http://scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3219
Are you a victim of a romance scam? Read here for advice and FAQ's.
#42747 by GomerPyle Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:09 pm
Try and get your pal to view this Australian TV item about African romance scammers.

It's the top link with transcripts of the programme below, but it's probably more effective if he watches it and hears the real life experiences of victims for himself.

http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/780303

This is a mail I got yesterday from a romance scammer

Hello.
my name is vivian am searching for a nice man like you who understand the meaning of love as trust and faith in each other,after reading your profile today i pick intrested in you.please repply to me in my mailbox at ([email protected]) so that i will send you my picture. and i will also like to see your picture too, hope we can move from here am waiting for your immediate response i love you with faith and trust


Undoubtedly they've sent out hundreds, if not thousands, of mails to different people exactly the same and they work them like a factory production line. Because they must know they're close to payday they won't let go of your friend easily and they're ruthless in the way they operate. I've known them go back to people they've cleared out of every penny, months later, just for £25.

If he listens to the stories of other people it might be enough to make him undestand what he's involved in.

Non-EU citizens should go here to find out about obtaining a visa to work as an au pair in the UK
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/doineedvisa/
Whenever payment is requested by Western Union you're dealing with a scammer
#42758 by Busy Boy Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:00 am
Hallelujah, he got the message and sent 'her' an e-mail telling her to clear off.

I know we could have had some fun 419eater-style, but all I was concerned about was persuading him NOT to part with his hard earned cash!

So thank you and a Very Merry Christmas to one and all! :oh-joy:
#42764 by Arnold Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:58 am
Great!
Busy Boy wrote:I know we could have had some fun 419eater-style,

You still can by setting up a baiting email account, and replying to "her" first email from it. And we strongly discourage baiting from your real life address.

#42765 by GomerPyle Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:48 am
That's a great result Busy Boy and your friend will never know what a favour you've done him, probably because he still wishes his 'dream' was real, but the consequences of a person falling from this type of scam can be disastrous.

Someone not far from where I live in the UK threw themselves under a train after dealing with a Russian romance scammer and I've dealt personally with a dentist's wife who gave everything away to an African one, and she is still being pumped for cash, though she can barely afford food to eat now.

Once a person has made the first payment then the scammer will bring in his pals and the victim never get a moment's peace. I have a secure phone set up (that anyone can arrange for free) that I use for baiting and it rings 24 hours a day with calls from scammers. They act like a pack of hyenas once they get a whiff of money.

Non-EU citizens should go here to find out about obtaining a visa to work as an au pair in the UK
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/doineedvisa/
Whenever payment is requested by Western Union you're dealing with a scammer
#43665 by repomanbe Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:58 am
In addition to everything else being said, Benin is an old French African colony and as such government correspondence to one of it's citizens would be in French not Uppercase English.

repoman
#208981 by Scammedonceonly Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:05 pm
Hi. Just to let you know 4 years later this same person is still at it under the name Nim Wijan email [email protected].

Very convincing however. I was taken in for a few thousand dollars before I realized it as it started off a dating website. In loved emails from her "mother" comfort wijan , "pastor" Godfrey, " "barrister Ayo Loco"

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