I don’t get as frustrated as I used to when I get calls from victims that are involved in international financial scams and I can’t convince them that they are involved in a scam. The scammers have brain washed their victims into believing that the money is at their fingertips.
The call usually comes to me when the millions of dollars were supposed to have already been transferred, but the money had to be held up due to an unforeseen tax. Therefore, the money never got transferred. The victim then calls me to see if they can somehow reduce this tax.
As indicated on the U.S. Department of State website, “scams evolve constantly, and we cannot include all scam variations here.” The scammers are very creative in coming up with ways to extract money out of their victims. Usually the victim will start using legal terminology that they have been taught by the scammers as being very important. This is just a smoke screen.
Often the fees that the victims pay have something to do with the Patriot Act, money laundering, or other “new” rules put in place since 9/11. One of the latest fees that I have heard about is an “insurance bond,” supposedly to make sure no one else transfers your money out of your account. I am sure that the victim feels that the $1,000 [or whatever] fee is well worth the peace of mind that their “millions of dollars” are being protected.
As stated on the U.S. Department of State website:
If you feel you have been a victim of an Internet scam, please consult the publications below for help and send all reports of Internet fraud directly to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. If the scam originated through a particular website, notify also the administrators of that website. When it becomes apparent you are the victim of a scam, it is best to end all communications with the scam artist, rather than attempt resolution. It is extremely rare for victims to recover lost money. If you feel threatened in any way, you should report your situation to the local police.
For our prior coverage of international tax scams, see here.