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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 16787
Experience:  18+ years of NYS litigation experience.
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Hi Fran - Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX and I just may

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Hi Fran - Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX and I just may be getting scammed by a gal in Accra, Ghana. We've been chatting with webcam for a month. She has expressed a desire to come to the US to meet me, in Hawaii where I live. Mainly because of the webcam, I have come to believe her, but there are discrepancies. She said her passport had expired; I sent money for her to get it renewed. She sent me a copy of it yesterday and it looks completely real. I have been on the GIS site and seen their examples of real and fake passports and hers certainly appears real. I will try to contact them to verify. The problem came in the form of the dates. The passport shows the date of issue to be one year ago, but the month and day correspond with her current claims that she got it on Aug 21, two days ago. As for a visa to the US, she is saying that there are agents who assist Ghanaians and can get visas very quickly (tourist type with a work permit) and that through these agents the cost is 1500 per each 3 month duration of stay. Is this some kind of under-the-table side action going on at US customs or is this completely false and how can we be sure? Any light you can shine here will be appreciated! Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello Jacustomer,

I know that you want to believe her but the woman is lying to you. Once she starts asking for money she's a scammer. And even though you would rather not believe that, it's the #1 sign of a romance fraud and not what real people do.

Strangers do not ask other strangers for money unless they are con artists or thieves. Romance scammers come on so strongly and intensely that you just don't think they are strangers. But until you meet an internet contact in person, you have no idea who and what they really are.

How much money did she get you for in order to obtain her passport? Ghana's Immigration Service, which warns outsiders not to wire money to a Ghanaian romance, says that it cost the equivalent of $35 USD -- $70 if she wants it expedited.

As far as the Visa is concerned it is ONLY available through the US Embassy in Ghana. There is no possibility that she can obtain it privately through an outside firm. A tourist visa -- the only one that she would be eligible for -- costs $140. It does not allow for the visitor to work here. (see link)

In order to come over here on a temporary or permanent work visa, she would have to be sponsored by a US employer who has demonstrated to the US Department of Labor that her position would be one that no American citizen is as qualified for. At that point the employer would do most of the paperwork over here and get the approval for her. She'd only have relatifve odds and ends to do over there, and it would be paid for by her employer.

So it would appear that she doesn't know anything about US immigration policies and she is counting on the fact that you won't know them either.

I cannot always tell if a passport is phony but I would be happy to look hers over as well as any photos of her you have, which can sometimes be traced to those of actresses and porn stars downloaded from the web. You can try to upload them to this thread by using the paperclip icon, or if you want to keep it off the web, you can attach them to an email to customer service atXXX@XXXXXX.XXX, and they will forward it on to me.

But she's lying to you, she's asked you for money, and she's padding the cost. That's dispositive, right there.

You need to walk away before you get hurt.




Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 16787
Experience: 18+ years of NYS litigation experience.
Zoey, JD and 11 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Aloha Fran- I was specifically wishing to know if there is any way that these so-called agents could be making under the table arrangements for acquisition of US visas. It wouldn't be the first time that such things have occured. Also wished to know if the passport was real or fake and whether the date of issue is indeed correct. She claims to have received it Aug 21 of this year, 2013, and that the date is mis-printed. These are fine points and I am mostly convinced that you are correct, but I would like to be "beyond the shadow of a doubt". I got in touch with the U.S. Embassy there via phone, but was unable to understand what my contact was saying due to the poorness of the connection and the heaviness of the local accent applied to English! I'd like to send you the passport, I will try to attach it. Failing that I'll send it per your instructions above.


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX is a bitter pill, which includes realization of my own gullibility. Generally, my policy is to trust people unless they give me reason not to. In this case, I have paid a price!


Aloha,


 


James Smallwood, Jr.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi James,

It is very difficult, because of the romance scammers, for any Ghanaian woman to get a real US visa. There is only one way and one place to get the visa, and while I understand that someone dishonest in the Embassy could perhaps be bought, he would not likely be so keen on spending a lot of time in a Federal penitentiary and on losing a lucrative Federal pension as to do it.

It is NOT a fine point if a date on a so-called official document has been tampered with. It is fraud and a general comment on the lack of honesty you've already been exposed to.

The image you sent didn't upload. Send it and any other photos you have as an email toXXX@XXXXXX.XXX, and they will pass it along to me if you ask them to. As soon as I get them I will come back here to tell you what I find.
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 16787
Experience: 18+ years of NYS litigation experience.
Zoey, JD and 11 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I have to tell you that this was the best forgery of a Ghana passport I have ever seen. It had me going for a while until I thought of one last thing to do, which confirms that she is a scammer.

You will see this same passport reported as belonging to romance scammers. The passport number is XXXXX same, the names and photos of the men (yes) and women all change. I'm confident that she is indeed a fraud. (See link)

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