We receive many inquiries from people who have been cheated for hundreds and sometimes thousands of Euro by Internet contacts they thought were their friends or loved ones. Internet con artists try to convince you to send them money. These schemes include lotteries, on-line dating services, offers of immigration or visa assistance, or even requests from a “friend” in trouble. In many cases, scammers troll the Internet for victims, and spend weeks or months building a relationship. Once they have gained their victims’ trust, they create a false situation and ask for money. At Ansnei we cannot help regain your money after such an incident. Therefore we provide you the service information here – to protect you up front.
Before you send any money, check to see if you recognize any of the following signs that you may be a potential victim of a scam:
- You only know your friend or fiancé online and may never have met in person.
- Photographs of the scammer show a very attractive person, and appear to have been taken at a professional modeling agency or photo studio.
- If they provide you with a copy of their passport or visa, you can contact your Embassy in the country where the passport or visa was issued to check the validity of the document.
- The scammer’s luck is incredibly bad – he or she is in a car crash, or arrested, or mugged, or beaten, or hospitalized. Close family members are dead or unable to assist. Sometimes the scammer claims to have a young child overseas who is ill or hospitalized.
- You have sent money for visas or plane tickets, but they can’t seem to make it to their destinations, citing detention by immigration officials, or other unexpected reasons that prevent them for traveling.
- Beware of anyone who requests funds as a requirement to depart another country – sometimes called a Basic Travel Allowance or BTA. There is no such thing as a BTA. In other cases, your Internet friend will claim a need for a certain amount of money to travel to you. Again, there is no such requirement under European, Danish or U.S. law that we are aware of.
- The scammer claims to have been born in the UK, United States, but uses poor grammar and spelling indicative of a non-native English speaker.
Dating & Marriage Scams
Almost all embassies in countries like Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Poland etc. receive numerous reports from citizens who have been the victims of a particular type of internet fraud in which the person has sent money to a person or an agency with the agreement that a young woman will visit Denmark, UK, France, the United States, Germany etc. for the purposes of marriage or study. Often, these scams will result in requests for increasing amounts of money for various purposes, including many noted above. Once you become suspicious, the individual or agency will cut off contact. Many of these agencies have existed for years under a variety of different names and addresses.
Even if the woman you have become acquainted with does exist and is honestly trying to visit you at home, it is unlikely that she will be issued a visa. We advise not to send money to people or agencies who have advertised for these services over the internet. We do have detectives, who can assist with investigation for these types of incidents. Nevertheless, it is very unlikely that you will recover your money if it turns out you are the victim of a scam.
Are you in doubt, contact us.
- Do not send money. Unfortunately, any money you have already sent is probably not recoverable.
- End all communication with the scammer immediately. If you feel threatened, contact the local police at once.
- DO NOT attempt to personally recover the funds you have sent.
- Report the matter to the local police in the country where you are (home or abroad).
- If the scam originated through a particular website, notify the administrators of that website.
Ansnei – KEEPING YOU SAFE !