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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 27688
Experience:  Lawyer.
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I was talking to a girl in the Phillipines and I am trying

Customer Question

Hi, I was talking to a girl in the Phillipines and I am trying to find out if she is a scammer. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

What else can you tell me about this girl? Is she asking you for money? Is she making excuses for not being able to meet you?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I actually already sent her money but she wound up sending me an invalid plane ticker confirmation number on Phillipine Airlines. Tries to tell me the Manager at the travel agent was un available etc. The other thing is she said she lives in Zambouga City but she picked up the money from Western Union in a city called General Santos.Her name is***** Her cell phone- or at least what she gave me is 63(###) ###-####
Her email is***@******.***
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I can also give you the Western Union wire transfer numbers if that helps..
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you.

Any time someone you meet online and are in a romantic relationship with asks for money, it's a scam. There are no exceptions. The fact that she wants the money via Western Union, which is 100% unsecure and a very expensive way to send money, cements it. There are much cheaper and better ways to send money to someone in a foreign country these days. Easier, too, because you can do it without leaving your house. I don't need the transfer number, but it's suspicious that she'd pick up somewhere more than 600 kilometers from where she claims to live.

That name comes up with zero hits on Google, which is actually a big red flag. In today's day and age, everyone is on the internet. It's highly suspicious for someone to have no web presence at all (especially since you're talking to her online). It suggests that she's got a very new identity.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Is there any way to trace that email address?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

There are two more things you can do that may help. First, if she sent you any pictures, use Google images to do a search and see if they've been used by scam artists in the past.

After you do that, go back through your communications with her, especially early ones, and do a search for any phrases that seem awkward, overly flowery, stilted, or non-responsive to what you were saying. Scam artists frequently send the same emails to multiple people (and reuse the same profile information), so you'll sometimes see that she's quoting directly from messages sent to other people.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

This site explains how you can look at her emails to see the IP address and use that to try to figure out where the emails are really coming from.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I can`t seem to use that google app on my mac. Can I send you the pictures to search?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

You should see a paper clip icon in the toolbar that can be used to upload pictures. Please do not send me explicit images.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The pictures didn`t come back with any hits on google. So she may very well have just gotten this new identity. I have chatted with her on Skype and she does look like her photos..
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Sometimes if you flip the pictures, then they show up on Google. Scam artists have learned to slightly alter the images to stop them from popping up. There are some female scam artists who work with the men. They work in groups, answering emails together, so any given communication could be from anyone.

But when they start asking for money to come visit, then don't show up (and don't return the money) it's always a scam.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

I'm afraid I have to sign off for the evening. This unfortunately happens sometimes because experts have no way of knowing how much time customers will need for follow-ups. If you have any more questions, I'm happy to answer them in the morning. I apologize for the inconvenience. Please do not send her any more money, not matter what she says to you. She will say literally anything to convince you that she's legitimate, but she just wants to take your money.