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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 94381
Experience:  7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
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my freind is held in custody in malaysia and he needs 25.000

Resolved Question:

my freind is held in custody in malaysia and he needs 25.000 to be released with his possesions and passsport to return to australia please advice
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Hello and thank you for using our service. My name isXXXXX and I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. Believe me that I will try my best to give you a solution if one exists, but sometimes the law does not have a good one.


Let me ask you a few questions:

1) Have you met this friend in person before or only over the internet?

2) Is there something more than just friendship between you?

3) Are they asking you to send money?

4) Have you sent money to them already?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

only on the internet we have become very close yes yes


 

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Then unfortunately, I have some very bad news for you. These are generally romance scams. We get at least two or three questions like this on the website per week.

Normally the scam starts with trying to establish a romantic relationship, perhaps just a friendship at first. They also may claim to be a citizen of the UK or US or Australia or wherever so that you would not suspect they have any ulterior motive. They pull at your heartstrings by telling stories of hardship or tragedy that they have suffered in their life. At some point they want to come visit. They may ask you to send money for a passport and/or plane ticket. They may tell you that they have money, perhaps even that they are wealthy, but their money is tied up or something like that, perhaps they tie it into a tragedy or something. Then the next step is when they supposedly have the passport and plane ticket, they suddenly come up with this Basic Travel Allowance or (BTA) which is supposedly to show authorities that they have enough money to fund their trip. This is a lie. There is no such thing. They ask you to send that money so they can put it into a bank account to show the authorities. There are other variations as well, such as not being able to pay en expensive medical bill or an expensive hotel bill and that they cannot leave the country until that debt is paid. Again, all lies. They ask you to send the money. This is just another method to steal money from you. In the case of the visit, the next part of the scam would be when they are supposed to arrive. You wait for them at the airport and they never show up. A few days go by, you get extremely worried, none of your methods of communication work, and then suddenly a "friend" or "relative" of the scammer contacts you to let you know that she has been detained/arrested by authorities for carrying something illegal, I have heard of unregistered gold and they say it would have been a gift for you (perhaps to pay you back for the money you sent). The friend or relative of the scammer then asks for you to send money to bribe or pay fines in order to have the scammer released. From there, I have not heard of how else they are able to get money out of people. Of course there are variations to the scheme, but that's pretty much how it goes.

Here is a link that you can go to for more information:

http://ghana.usembassy.gov/romance_scam.html (yes, it is a link from the U.S. Embassy in Ghana, but it applies to all different countries and I have seen this scam come from Russia, the Ukraine, Nigeria, many other countries, and yes, even Maysia).

And here is another link from the government of Ghana:

http://www.ghanaimmigration.org/FAQ.htm

and another:

http://travel.state.gov/pdf/international_financial_scams_brochure.pdf

and another:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/financial_scams/financial_scams_4554.html?action=/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_960.html

I am truly sorry. I know that you have feelings invested. They prey on that. I almost fell into something similar myself. Whatever you do, do not send money. Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance to you. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. If you do rate me positively, a bonus is always appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future, just go to http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-guillermosenmartin/ and make sure you type: FOR GUILLERMO on the subject line. Thank you!

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 94381
Experience: 7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Did you reply? If you did and you do not see your reply above, it is because we have been having technical difficulties. Please repost your reply and to make sure it went through, you should be able to read it on the thread, not get a mostly blank screen after hitting the reply button. I believe I may be able to help you. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
If you responded and do not see your response above, please repost until you can see it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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