Has someone offered you a huge sum of money or a valuable consignment? It's a 419 or advance fee fraud - find out how they work, and what to do to be safe.
#202255 by chev Tue May 20, 2014 12:37 pm
Posted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:42 pmI have a family member that has been caught up in a scam for 2 yrs now. We have tried everything, interventions, police, lawyers etc. Since its an international issue, no one can help. I do not know how to convince them it's a scam. They refuse to talk to counselors. 
Basically they have always been addicted to the get rich quick schemes online, which I believe is how they got the email address. They sent an email saying your winner of a random lump sum payout from a company or whatever it was. One thing led to another, they needed money to release funds etc. Story goes on like you all know. They are at least 200, 000 "invested" and don't want to lose contact with these people. All money transfers I believe have been going to malaysian bank. This family member has already gone to the extent of setting up there own suicide... so I believe we are nearing the end. They finally have realized it may be a scam, through their laptop on the ground that day. We all talked to them again saying we can help if they will stop contacting the scammer. But they have them convinced we are all liers. Now a few days later they want to go buy a laptop again because they have to keep in contact. What can I do? And what can you guys do to help? 
I've almost wanted to become the scammer just to show them how easy it is to make this all up. They contact through email/ text and calling. So they believe it's real because they talk to real people. 
I have no doubt it's a scam, I just need help convincing them it is. I am in USA so if anyone has contacts that can help, I greatly appreciate it.
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#202256 by AlanJones Tue May 20, 2014 12:43 pm
Hi chev and welcome to Scamwarners. I am sorry for the situation that you and your other family members find yourselves in.

Unfortunately, even with 6 figure losses it is often very difficult to get the authorities to do anything, due to the problems of actually getting anywhere in the other countries involved. Which authorities have you reported it to? Local police or the FBI? A report on the IC3.gov website if you haven't done so already might be helpful.

As to what you can do to convince them, it is going to be very difficult if they have ignored interventions from family, the police, lawyers etc - about the only thing you can do is try to hit them with overwhelming evidence, which we can help you with if you can provide details of the scam such as email addresses used, any websites they have been directed to etc.

Please do not tell scammers that they are listed here - it will take them seconds to change their fake details and their new details will not be listed for any future victims to find.
#202259 by chev Tue May 20, 2014 12:49 pm
I did report to ic3 over a year ago and no contact back. Police were useless. Fbi I believe is the same as ic3, so I haven't gone any further there. I also saw a post of contacting secret service agent?
I will get phone numbers, emails, etc later today. The latest they are saying is that they are stuck in Washington DC in customs (for past year) need money for lawyers etc. I believe they also gave my family member Fbi "contacts" to help get his money back. Again just another scam starting.
#202279 by AlanJones Tue May 20, 2014 3:08 pm
IC3 is a means of reporting Internet crime, but they don't report it, they pass it on to the relevant authority, so there is a chance that it was not passed to the FBI. You should be able to log in to the site and print off a PDF of your complaint, so printing that off and actually contacting the FBI might be an idea.

If you can post not only the emails from the scammers, but the headers to them as well (minus your family member's personal details) then we may be able to show where they are actually sent from.

The use of FBI etc identities is a common scammer ploy to try and extract more money from the victim by promising they can get the lost money back. There is a whole forum here dedicated to these recovery scams.

Please do not tell scammers that they are listed here - it will take them seconds to change their fake details and their new details will not be listed for any future victims to find.
#202280 by HillBilly Tue May 20, 2014 3:31 pm
Like Alan said, its unfortunate to hear of this going on. And as you have found out, there isn't much if anything the authorities can/will do about it. Education is our best resource against these scams, and if your person doesn't want to see the truth, then about the only option you might be left with is a conservatorship done through your local court system. You will need to talk to a good family based attorney before considering such a drastic measure though. Especially given the fact that you've stated they refuse counseling all ready.

Here is some reading for yourself about how and why people stay addicted to scams :
http://www.scamsurvivors.com/forum/view ... 40&t=14327

and more on how to contact the secret service : http://www.scamsurvivors.com/forum/view ... 10&t=14480

For the most part agencies like the FBI / Secret Service / IC 3 / and FTC don't do much more than take reports so they can be turned into statistics. However, that does not mean they should not be reported.

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