Not elaborate

February 28th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Keith Lynch at The Press reports:

A Christchurch woman was conned out of more than $23,000 in an elaborate online scheme.

The 50-year-old woman, who does not want to be named, met a man through Facebook, spoke to him for about three months online and over the phone, and paid him more than $23,000 after being taken in last month by a hoax story.

The internet conman asked her for the money to get a package out of Australian Customs.

He even sent her a tracking number and the address of a website where she could track the “package” which she was told contained gold nuggets and jewellery.

The woman spoke out to warn others of the dangers online.

“I thought he was reasonably decent person but you can’t really tell,” she said.

“He gained my trust and we even talked about people on Facebook who scam people.”

Before asking for money, the man told her he was travelling to New Zealand and wanted her to accept a package on his behalf.

He sent her a link to a website with a tracking number to monitor the package. But when the package got to Australia it got held up “because they wanted a money laundering certificate”, she said.

“He pleaded, he actually cried on the phone. He got me sucked in. I felt really bad for him.

“He told me he’d pay me back and it would be fine.”

She then sent him about $17,500.

After the man said he needed more help, she sent him another $6000.

This was not an elaborate scam. With no disrespect to the unfortunate victim, but it was a very simple scam. If you have never met the person in real life, then don’t send them thousands of dollars. Don’t even send them hundreds of dollars.

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17 Responses to “Not elaborate”

  1. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    If you have never met the person in real life, then don’t send them thousands of dollars

    I’ve never met John Key. Can I stop paying tax now please? :D

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  2. rouppe (918 comments) says:

    I got the “this is Windows Support calling about your computer” call last night from an Indian woman who could barely speak English

    Before hanging up I told her I did not require any services with a sentence that contained more than 50% expletives.

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  3. CJPhoto (218 comments) says:

    How can people be so dumb. It makes you wonder how they were smart enough to earn that much money in the first place.

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  4. jims_whare (398 comments) says:

    what she should have done is reverse scammed him by telling him that he has to pay a clearence fee for her bank of $20US to get the money.

    Like they do on the 419 site – lots of laughs

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  5. dime (9,470 comments) says:

    dam there are some scumbags out there.

    amazing what lonely people can talk themselves into!

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  6. peterwn (3,166 comments) says:

    And do not ‘accept’ or carry packages on someone’s behalf for money or as a favour or otherwise. That check-in question ‘have you packed your own bags’ is not asked as a joke. You would probably get done for money laundering or drug running. And in some countries you face a decent whipping in addition to years in a crappy jail.

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  7. Manolo (13,394 comments) says:

    P.T. Barnum was right: a sucker is born every minute!
    Is her surname Bright? :-)

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  8. Letterman (184 comments) says:

    It is one thing to get ripped off: it is quite another to fight back: http://www.grantnormanking.com

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  9. PaulL (5,875 comments) says:

    It’s amazing who gets sucked in by these. It’s just the same Nigerian scam, updated to facebook. I’m not necessarily sure you should give money to people you’ve met in person either….unless you have plenty of money spare.

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  10. peterwn (3,166 comments) says:

    PaulL – Agreed. A syndicate mortgaged property and raised $250,000 to facilitate a Nigerian 419 deal. Took the cash to Nigeria with predictable results. A greedy lawyer was also suckered and lent them the $250,000 out of a deceased estate at 19% plus a $50,000 ‘success’ fee. Would be hilarious if it were not so serious for the participants, especially the lawyer. Good news was the estate got its money back mainly from the lawyer’s own pocket but may have had to do with a bit less interest.

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  11. mara (726 comments) says:

    jims whare. You got it right with the 419 site. Hillarious. A must watch for folks of a cynical nature who have a little time on their hands and mischief in mind. I’ve long wondered why “consumer watchdogs” and the like don’t ever emphasise this stuff. Ah, of course, it’s racist and we must be tender about about ethnic stuff.

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  12. Mike Readman (358 comments) says:

    You left out the end of the article where it was explained the tracking website was fake. That sounds pretty elaborate to me.

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  13. RandySavage (196 comments) says:

    If you have never met the person in real life, then don’t send them thousands of dollars. Don’t even send them hundreds of dollars.
    does that go for sponsering children overseas DPF?
    or just about EVERY other international online purchase?
    how about the stock exchange?
    or what a minute how about the people at my local ASB? ive never meet a single one of them and Ive been banking years of money with them

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  14. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    When I get my 100 million in gold bars from that nice african dicatator who emailed me because he needs a helping hand to get it through the border, I’m going to own the lot of you. Then who’ll be laughing? MUAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

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  15. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Christ, I’ve won ANOTHER lottery I didn’t enter. In your face, peasants!

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  16. LabourDoesntWork (282 comments) says:

    These guys scam the scammers – or at least bait them.

    http://www.419eater.com/

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  17. Brian Smaller (3,999 comments) says:

    Sorry – but I don’t feel the slightest bit of sympathy for this woman. I know everyone gets lonely from time to time and someone paying attention to them makes them feel good about themselves – but sending your life savings? Come on.

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