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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 26009
Experience:  18 years of criminal litigation experience.
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Someone got robbed in your country of money and credit cards

Customer Question

Someone got robbed in your country of money and credit cards and got hit with gun. He was there for a sculpture contest and won. He cannot get his winnings until he pays for some kind of $3,000 plus fee to get the $1,000,000.00 money. I need to know if it is a scam or not. His name is***** and he didn't say whether he got his visa taken too. Do you handle that sort of thing in your office or could you guide me to someone who would know? I don't know what Hotel he is staying at in Cairo but says he needs the money by Monday. Can you tell me about getting his VISA credit card replaced and where he can stay until he gets the money he needs to get his prize money and pays back the party who lends him the money. Can you do that for him? The phone number of where he's staying is: 011 20(###) ###-#### ***** do you do in case he's committing fraud? He wants me to send him the money. He's originally from Greece and living in East Chicago, Indiana Can you have him arrested if he is scamming me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

I'm betting that Tony is a person you only know online and that you have met him on an internet dating or social networking site and begun a romance with him. This has all the signs of a romance scam.

You NEVER have to pay any money to receive an award. That's the #1 sign of a fraud. Once you've truly won a contest the money is already yours, and you never have to pay a charge to get it. If there were any transfer fees involved, the contest would take it from his money, which they already have, and then hand him a check for the rest.

What he's doing is called the Stranded Traveler scam. He's fabricated an emergency which is designed to have YOU wire him some money via Western Union or MoneyGram, and to make you believe he'll have the wherewithal to pay you back when you finally meet. But you will never meet because this man doesn't really exist. He's a group of thieves hiding behind a fake profile and the picture of some other person.

The phone number he's given you is not a hotel number. It's a mobile phone, so even though the numerical exchange traces to Egypt, he can be reached at that number anywhere in the world he happens to really be.

He can get his VISA card replaced and FedExed to him overnight. If he's a Greek citizen, he can go to the Greek embassy in Cairo, where of course, they would have no problem understanding his accent, and they can help him access his funds at home. If he's a US citizen, he can go to the US embassy. However thick his accent, they can understand him, as I assume since he writes a fluent English to you, in the worst case scenario he can write it to them as well.

A reverse search of public records on a commercial background service shows that there is no such person named Tony Papadopolus who lives or has lived anywhere in the US. I looked it up and got similar results for Anthony Papadopolus.

Cease all contact with him. Do NOT send him money. Report him to the FBI at IC3.gov, which is their Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

No, we cannot have him arrested. You would have to try to do that for yourself, as you are the victim of his scam.

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