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Michael Hannigan
Michael Hannigan, Consultant
Category: General
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Experience:  25+ Years in the field
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O.K. This is third time I have done this. I have a friend in Dubai who went there to buy

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O.K. This is third time I have done this. I have a friend in Dubai who went there to buy antiques. He says he doesn't have the money to pay customs fees and the charges increase by the day. He had a "voucher" for $15,000. but they won't accept it. he doesn't have a credit card. he wants me to go to Western Union. I should send $1,680.00 to: XXXXX - receiver: United Arab Emirate, Dubai
Hello, my name is Michael. What is your question? Are you asking how to send money via Western Union?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No....this "friend" who I do not know really well asked me to send $1,680.00 to cover his custom fees for shipping his antiques from Dubai to New Orleans. He said they will not accept his "voucher". I said that I would consider paying these fees for him with my credit card but I would need to have paperwork from the custom officials to pay on line. He says they told him I should pay by Western Union from my credit card.

I met this guy on eHarmony and have not met him in person and I am afraid he's scamming me. What do YOU think??


Violet Weinberg

Violet, yes... this is a scam. Please do NOT send the money. That's why I wanted to know what your question was - I didn't want to come right out and suggest that it was a scam if it was someone that was a close friend. However, since you are asking, I am CERTAIN this IS a scam. It fits the pattern of a well known scam. In fact, you should NEVER send money via Western Union to someone that you don't know personally and trust unconditionally. Western Union money transfers are preferred by scammers because there is no way to trace them after the fact, and you have absolutely no recourse.

There are many other ways for people to request money that offer fair policies to both parties (for example PayPal). However, these other services have mature dispute resolution processes which would make them unusable by a criminal.

My advice would be to report this to the FBI. I can give you the page to do that if you would like. If you have any other questions or want to discuss this additionally, just let me know. If there is anything else I need to do to convince you not to send the money, please reply and let me know.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. You have confirmed my own feelings on this. That's what I needed - confirmation. Yes please give me the page to report this.


And Thank you again..........well worth it considering!


Violet Weinberg

Violet, here is some information you can read regarding this type of scam.

I'm sorry that someone has tried to take advantage of your trust. I know that at the very least it's disappointing - especially when you think you are starting to know someone. Some people seem to have no boundries.

But I am absolutely delighted that you had the mindfulness to stop and ask about it. I can't say that I have the same common sense when I'm blinding by affection! Any small victory over these scammers is satisfying. Here is the FBI reporting site:

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Mike. Got it. I am too old to fall madly in love without significant question. So he seemed over the top from the beginning - such is life!



There certainly is no substitute for wisdom! I'm really glad you question it.

Please remember to rate my level of service before leaving and if you have any other questions, please let me know.

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