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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 23127
Experience:  14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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Pierre Omidyar contacted me regarding a dream of his to give

Customer Question

Pierre Omidyar contacted me regarding a dream of his to give away $1.3 Million to numerous people from the internet. I currently have two e-mails of his stating what to do and who to contact in Great Britain. What do I need to know about this transaction and how can I know if this offer is a scam? --Susan K. UgojiXXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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I am sorry to have to tell you this, but there is a 99.99% chance that this is a scam. If the person contacted you through the internet or email and said that they picked you to help with their charity work, and you have absolutely no type of existing relationship with them, it is a scam.
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They typically will convince an unsuspecting person that they need them to distribute funds and will then send them a money order or cashier's check to deposit into their account.
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Then they will tell the person that they need them to send part of the deposit back, either due to an error or to cover some sort of charge or some other reason. The person waits a few days for the check to post to their account and then forwards the money to the scammer, usually overseas and out of the country. This makes it outside US jurisdiction.
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Then the check is determined to be fraudulent as it can take up to 2 weeks for it to get kicked back. The person is then on the hook for the money they sent the scammer because the bank will chargeback the account.
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So if you want to proceed with this, keep in mind that as soon as they tell you that they want you to deposit money in your bank or send them money, the red flags should go up that this is a scam. If you send any money out to them, you will never see it again.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

So, if I receive a check from them and call the bank in the US, could they tell me if there are adequate funds in the account?

Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.
Yes, if you can determine that a check is on a legitimate bank and a legitimate bank account, then the bank could verify if funds are available.
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But if they tell you to deposit it, once again, that is a huge red flag as they could simply pull the money out and leave you holding the bag. A better plan would be to locate the bank and cash the check at the issuing bank. That way, if this is legitimate, you will actually leave with cash in your hand that you can then use for the charitable purposes.
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If the bank is a far away bank that the check is drawn on, that is another red flag.
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I don't want you to see you get taken in with a scam and end up losing your money when you are going into this trying to help others.
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.
Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I appreciate your concern--this guy is telling me that it is his dream to give money to numerous people over the internet--and it is supposed to be his charity. That is why I decided to get some help.

Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.
Call me a skeptic, but true charities set up foundations and get 501C tax exempt status so they can legally be a charity and benefit people.
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The internet is rampant with scams like this that lure people in and then convince them to become a part of this and they end up losing their money, sometimes considerable sums.
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So please, if you do get some sort of check or money order and want to proceed, wait at least 21 days before you even think about forwarding any of your money on. That is long enough in any banking system in the US for a check to be honored or dishonored.
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If they send you a check drawn on an out of the US bank, take it to your bank and have them contact the issuing bank directly to confirm the availability of funds and arrange for a wire transfer.
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Wire transfers are the foolproof way to move money because they don't occur unless the wiring bank has the money in their hands. If this was a true charitable venture, they could simply wire funds directly into an account you set up (not your primary account).
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Now, if this transaction is successful in, say 30 days time, then what position should a lawyer hold?

Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.
Well, you might want to bring one onboard to make sure that all IRS tax laws regarding charities and charitable donations are being complied with. That is where most people get in trouble with charities.
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But if you tell them that you are going to hold funds for 30 days to make sure they clear and they freak out and tell you that they need the money back now, then you will know for sure....
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The simple truth is that millionaires don't pick random strangers through the internet to help them set up charities to help others... It just doesn't happen in real life.
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.
Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

This guy is supposed to be the billionaire who set up E-Bay--he doesn't know about charities, perhaps. And to have the correct strategies to know if this is a scam or not is worth the time and money. Thank you so much for your input--if I have any more questions in the future regarding this transaction, I'll get back to you.

Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.
You are very welcome. Please just be extra cautious and always keep our conversation in the back of your mind...
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.
Thanks
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 23127
Experience: 14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
Barrister and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Thanks so much for the positive rating and generous bonus, it is very much appreciated!

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. Please feel free to ask for me if you need help with anything in the future and I will do everything I can to help or get you to someone who can.

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Barrister

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