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CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1264
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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Customer Question

I have an APPLICATION FOR TEST OF GOLD DUST SAMPLE very similar to the one pictured here. Is there anyway to know if it is authentic. The story is my girlfriend was caught trying to smuggle it and it was confiscated by immigrationand she now needs to pay a lawyer $ 3000 to release it to her. I am suspicious - to say the least. Please answer to email address -***@******.*** Thank you for your time and consideration.
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: Accra
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: I have not but I did get a letter of assurance from one that he is working on releasing the gold and getting her passport back.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: the state is accra
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: the letter came form her lawyer to me
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 2 months ago.

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I will try to assist you with your legal question but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.

I've seen many many people asking basically the same question as you, always in respect of a friend/girlfriend in another country who wants to buy and/or sell gold and/or gold dust, and wants you to get involved to assist, or that you have received gold as a gift. Normally the gold originates from Ghana! Sometimes this includes some sort of "beneficiary" status or "future value" promises as to the value of the gold that this person can sell.

My first question is:- Have you actually met this person? Do you know them for real? Or did you meet them online or in a chat room or via email. How did this lady come about to be your girlfriend?

My second question is:- Are you willing to possibly lose all of the money that you invest in this scheme?

If you don't know this person personally, then this is my warning to you: THIS IS MOST PROBABLY A NiGERIAN 419 ADVANCED FEE SCAM!

The GOLDEN rule in this situation is that whenever an upfront payment of money is requested before you can receive another BIG payment, or before your payment can be "released", or before gold can be purified, or shipping from one place to the refinery, or from the refinery to another place, you should take extra caution that it could be a clever scam trying to get you to part with your money.

Sometimes people get arrested, and then they ask you to help them with lawyer costs or bail money so they can be released from jail. Sometimes they ask you to send money to their "lawyer", who often calls himself a "barrister".

If you go ahead with this transaction, the other person will send you (what looks like) original documents from some fake institution (pretending to be real e.g. reserve bank, mining commission, etc) dealing with the gold, or they will send you to a fake internet website as "proof" that the gold exist, or that the gold is registered in your name or their name!

99.9% of the time, it's all fake, and all part of the scam.

They will go to the ends of the earth to try convince you that it's all real, and they will go on and on and on and on until you WANT to believe. Please don't.

The scammers will tell you that before you can take delivery of the gold (or before they are shipped, or can clear customs) there are certain charges that will need to be paid, including: certificate charges, customs charges, affidavit charges, regulatory charges, etc, etc, and once you've paid the first charge there will be more and more and more .... each time asking for more money.

They may even tell you that they are going to sell the gold on your behalf, and you can then use the proceeds of the sale to pay for the initial cost of the gold. There will be a PROFIT, and you will then get that profit ... the only thing is that they first need a sworn affidavit! Which will cost money.

Then there will be the delays. Somebody at customs or the reserve bank or police will delay the delivery due to some reason. Or delay the profit, or something like that.

Maybe there will be another sworn affidavit of claim or a fact certificate that will be required, and they will ask for more money so that you can issue the documents.

The so-called "419" scam (aka "Nigeria scam") is a type of fraud named after an article of the Nigerian penal code under which it is prosecuted. It is also known as "Advance Fee Fraud" because the common principle of all the scam format is to get the victim to send cash (or other items of value) upfront by promising them a large amount of money that they would receive later if they cooperate. In almost all cases, the criminals receive money using Western Union and MoneyGram, instant wire transfer services with which the recipient can't be traced once the money has been picked up. These services should never be used with people you only know by email or telephone!

The victims are promised a fortune for providing a bank account to transfer the money to. Then - if they fall for the scam - they are made to part with thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in "bribes" for local officials or other "fees" (taxes, insurance, legal fees, etc) before the "partners" finally disappear without trace.

Many 419 scams involve a fake lawyer (usually a person who calls himself a Barrister or claims to work for a firm whose name includes the word "Chambers").


You can have a look at this site for more information.

Please note: I am not 100% positive that this is a SCAM, but I can give you a 99.99% sure that if you did not initiate contact with this person, then this is most probably an advanced fee SCAM.

Think about this -- how did you come to meet these people?

Depending in what information you have given these people, you might indeed be at risk of identity theft. It would be advisable to keep a close look at activity on you bank and credit card accounts and report any unauthorised activity immediately. If you feel up for it, it might be a good idea to change your banking details.

If my answer hasn't answered all of your questions, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - dont just rate my answer as "bad".

If my are HAPPY with my answer then please click one of the STAR ratings or the SMILEY FACES to rate my answer!

Good luck and best regards,


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for an honest reply based on many examples. Your scenario is dead on. Every time I have sent money all I have gotten is a note telling me to send more money. I must admit it all looked pretty legitimate until my "girlfriend" told me she had inherited hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold and was trying to bring it to me in a suitcase when she was arrested for smuggling. This is truly the stuff of fantasy and certainly seemed ridiculous to me at the time and seems even more ridiculous now. In fact as you suggested she initiated this "relationship" on Her name (maybe) is Portia Neequaye so all others beware.
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 2 months ago.

Hi there again,

I see that you've read my answer and I hope that you understood the answer and that it was useful? I'm very sorry that you were caught up in this. If you want, you can report the fraud to the police and they might investigate it. But because this person lives in another country - the investigations might not get very far!

If you have a further question please ask it, or if you need clarity on the answer please let me know.

If you're happy that I've answered your question, please leave positive feedback for me.