Online Travel scams
  • Should I send him money? Is he real? Is this a romance scam? Is this company legitimate?

    These are the questions people are being forced to ask. It’s heartbreaking. Honest people are taken advantage of every day by 419 scams that prey on their vulnerabilities and trusting natures. We’ve seen literally hundreds of people on our forums who have fallen victim to these scams. They come here to warn others, or to see if they’ve been fooled, but the stories rarely have a happy ending.

    It happens like this:

    Divorced and lonely, you take a chance on a dating website, and there he is, a good and kind Christian man who talks to you daily and wants nothing more than to build a life with you. Unfortunately, he’s currently in Nigeria on a work contract and has run into some difficulty buying his plane ticket home, so could you just lend him $1,000...

    Or it happens like this:

    You’re toiling away at a low-paying job, when you’re offered a great job and an even better salary for a contract working for a company in London. It’s all so perfect with accommodation, meals, transport, everything included so you can send all your money home to your family. All you need to do is send them $500 for the application fee...

    Or even like this:

    Doing on online search for puppies to adopt, you meet a sweet woman from Cameroon who’s got a litter of English Bulldogs that she wants to send to good homes. They’re free, of course because they don’t want to make money from this and all you need to pay is the airport fees, which suddenly triple when the puppies are stuck at Douala Airport...

    The scenarios described above, including the Job Scam, Nigerian Love Scam, Russian Girlfriend Scam, Sufficient Travel Funds Scam, and Cameroon Puppy Scam, are the most common scams we come across. There are many others though, including the ‘Friend in Distress’: You get a Facebook message or email from a friend who says he’s been robbed in a foreign country and needs you to send him money. He provides you with Western Union details. In reality your friend is sitting at home, unaware his account has been hacked.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Warning Signs You're Being Scammed Online

    There are several warning signs that someone you met online is trying to scam you. The most common are:

    - Poor spelling and grammar.
    - Failure to send pictures on request or video chat.
    - Having a thick African or Pakistani accent despite claims of being from the US or UK.
    - Forming an online relationship that becomes serious quickly while they claim to be working abroad.
    - Claiming to represent a company while using a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo email address.
    - Asking for money from you, a person they barely know and have never met.
    - Insisting money be sent via Western Union or other money order.

    These are just a few of the warning signs you’re being scammed, and the last is the most important. Even if their reason sounds legitimate, why would they ask you for money? If it’s for a business there should be back-up funds available. If it’s personal then they surely have friends or family that can help them.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    The Truth About Sufficient Travel Funds Scams

    As a travel website, it may seem odd that we’ve come to be an authority on Nigerian 419 scams, but the basis of most these scams is the convoluted world of visa fees, airport taxes, and work permits. These are confusing things, with a lot of misinformation out there. Very few people outside of the travel industry really know anything about these fees. There are several constant guidelines you can be sure of, however:

    - Visas are checked and issued upon arrival, not departure. If a person doesn’t need to apply for a visa in advance, then they will get it when their plane lands.
    - Passengers are not required to carry cash. There is no airline, and no country, that requires passengers to have a ‘sufficient funds’ before they can board a plane.
    - There is almost never a situation in which cash is needed to buy a plane ticket.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    How to Protect Yourself from Being Scammed

    If you think you’re caught up in a scam but aren’t quite ready to write the person off, there are measures you can take to protect yourself. Always verify their story from a third party, but NOT a third party that they put you in touch with. If they need to pay the Ghana Aviation Authority, then phone the Ghana Aviation Authority. If they need money for a UK visa, phone the UK embassy in their country. In the case of stories like the Cameroon Puppy Scam, when goods are stuck at a border insist on seeing official documentation with itemised invoices. Border control in any country will provide these documents.

    Never send a money order to a person you don’t know. There’s a reason scammers use Western Union: it’s non-refundable. Once they have your money there’s no way to get it back. If you decide to give someone money, insist on using Paypal or another verified service so you have recourse to get your money back if it turns out to be a scam.

    You should always be wary when someone asks for money online, no matter what the situation. Even though we want to be able to trust people, we all need to protect ourselves from those that would take advantage.
  • Some of these people are vary heartless and cruel. Are very good at conning you into believe them and use Gods name to do it. Some have used a charity, business or illness in there scams. They will agree and except you no matter what you tell them about yourself. If you called them or they call you. The call will sound electronically distorted or like a very poor connection. Some work independent and some work with a new version of a pimp or madam. Take homeless kids and, give them room and board to work scamming people out of money. These scammers may live in the US or outside the US. The pimps/madams will have you send WU to a few common last names and not to the scammer’s name. The scammer will not give you a good reason why you must send money to the other name. The pimps/madams will usually only allow the stammer about 3 months to get your money and the independents can take as long as they wish to scam you out of your money. Both parents are usually gone in one way or another. The phone maybe a US number. But it can be forwarded to another place or country and similar with an address for WU.
    It goes back to the old sayings. If it’s too good to be true then it is not true. If the woman or man is your perfect dream partner come true then it a scam because there is no one as perfect as your dream partner on earth. I know this because I have told scammers that I knew were scammer’s thing that most women would not except and, reject a man for and they did not bat an eye at them.
  • hello..
    also got an email from stuart family. Oh God what a heartless people. they're sending their pictures too. they changed their address 100 Bennett Castle instead of 50 but with the same contact numbers.
  • I think frist you need Check out his other articles for everything you need to know about travel destinations.
  • LONDON POLICE

    Online Crime Reporting
    Thank you, your Crime Report has been submitted.

    Your online report reference number is CR03-00014110 (Please note this is not a Crime Reference number)

    Your report will be forwarded to the police station covering the location of the crime and a crime reference number will be issued to you in due course. You will be contacted by an investigator in the next 72 hours.

    Return to Metropolitan Police Service homepage.
  • A man I met online and chatting with for six weeks asked me for money for a shipment for a job he was contracting to do, (help him with shipment he said) I told him I could not send him money that I barely know him, after telling him no many times he accused me of never really caring for him and told me good bye, I really had feelings for him,He wanted any amount that I could send,I really miss him, but will not send him or any man money (I told him). do you think he was a scammer or am I jumping to quick judgements? please answer me my email is 44ff312a@charter.net
  • 100% scammer believe me!, I am an ex-pat (UK) living in Lagos for over 5 years and visited 6 months a year for 7 years previously.
    The scams mentioned are quite simple but there are others that are far more sophisticated.
    If in doubt do nothing.

    But as other posts say there are many good Nigerians and I know being on the ground here but this place expecially Lagos is not
    for the faint hearted.
  • I been chatting with some one fron nigeria but dont know if he been and any trouble are have a wife there.Is there anyone who can check in find out please email me at yvetterichardson44@yahoo.com By the way his name is Adam Tijani Sheou
  • If someone asked you to send to him money. than be sure that he/she is scammer 100%
  • I met a guy Tim Stinson on match.com. He is a widow and his wife die in a car accident in Louisiana. Within 2 months he is trying to fly home with his daughter Sandra today but he needs $2,000 for BTA Fees. I told him I don't have the money to send him. He stated he will give it to me once he gets off the plane. It's sad how they tug on you heart and if you have a kind heart, you become a target for the scams. I don't know if I should give up online dating. He said he lives in Charlotte NC. When I Google him, the home address came up. I also checked the NC Criminal records department. What other ways can to find out if this person? I don't plan to give him anymore money. I wish I found this site before I sent $1600. Thanks for the site.
  • @sweet1
    it might be difficult to find out if he has a wife or not, but you just have to keep on chatting with him with an open mind (not all guys are scammer) but be very careful. When he starts complaining of one problem or another and he needs money, you then need to watch it from there. You can tell me how you progress with your chat and if you suspect any thing or in doubt or need comfirmation of something you let me know.
  • @dare2dream
    what is the guy's phone number.
    How did you send the money to him
    have you guys communicated since them
    You still have to continue your internet dating
    there still a lot of nice people out there
    not everybody is bad
    You just have to be careful
    dont get carried away by what the person says
  • @matt
    you are really right concerning Lagos, the place is like the heart of scammers in nigeria. They create different scam formats everyday. But
    like you said, there are lot of good guys too
  • @sablemost
    he is a very real scammer
    but still learning
  • LOLOLOL I EVEN HAD 5 DIFFERENT PEOPLE SENDING ME THE SAME EMAIL,ONLY THE NAME AND Hello,
    I'm glad to hear back from you,all is going to be
    well and all i need from you is to escort me down there and gimme a
    maximum massages and more
    All you need to do now is to get prepared for this trip as there is no
    time to waste at all.
    Also about where we are going will be the Federal Capital Abuja,its a
    Business Trip okay, and we are going via Virgin Airline and we will be
    staying in Sheraton Hotel Abuja.
    I just make an inquiry now with a traveling agency down there in
    Africa, which i was told that you will surely need an Africa/Nigeria
    Visa which i already spoken with the Travel Agency down there in
    Africa so they told me all what it requires of me to do. so i will get
    that done on my side as soon as possible. also as soon as your visa is
    ready your upfront will be made available to you. okay? All you need
    to do now is to get back to them on their email address
    (traveltroneconsultant@live.com) just notify them you are from Engineer
    Monica. okay?
    Also about your upfront and ticket fees, it will be when your visa
    has been processed successfully and posted to you. Payment will be
    strictly via western union or cash at hand okay.
    please if you are okay with this you can get back to the travels
    agency asap for prompt processing to begins.
    hope to read from you soon.
    Regards.
    Monica
  • I also have recieved this E-mail. Thankyou so much for posting this, if you had not then I would surely have been SCAMMED!! Tolan, many thanks you're a life saver

    Hello,
    I'm glad to hear back from you,all is going to be
    well and all i need from you is to escort me down there and gimme a
    maximum massages and more
    All you need to do now is to get prepared for this trip as there is no
    time to waste at all.
    Also about where we are going will be the Federal Capital Abuja,its a
    Business Trip okay, and we are going via Virgin Airline and we will be
    staying in Sheraton Hotel Abuja.
    I just make an inquiry now with a traveling agency down there in
    Africa, which i was told that you will surely need an Africa/Nigeria
    Visa which i already spoken with the Travel Agency down there in
    Africa so they told me all what it requires of me to do. so i will get
    that done on my side as soon as possible. also as soon as your visa is
    ready your upfront will be made available to you. okay? All you need
    to do now is to get back to them on their email address
    (traveltroneconsultant@live.com) just notify them you are from Engineer
    Monica. okay?
    Also about your upfront and ticket fees, it will be when your visa
    has been processed successfully and posted to you. Payment will be
    strictly via western union or cash at hand okay.
    please if you are okay with this you can get back to the travels
    agency asap for prompt processing to begins.
    hope to read from you soon.
    Regards.
    Monica
  • Hi All

    Can thous that have been to Lagos or any other part of nigeria post more details about the country? I know Lagos is the hub of all scams but surely some one can post more that this?
    Places they have stayed, Place where to eat,places to see, local customs and just any general information would be great.
    Stories of your visits would also be great.
    Any travel tips for traveling to this country would be great. Posting comments on trip advisors would be great as there is very little information except for scams out there. Postive or negative comments are find but still looking for some more postives about the country!

    Regards

    Angeleyess
  • Hello im talking two two extremely beautiful women in ghana. They are very sweet and tell me everything I wanna hear They ave not asked for money yet. We have been talking for about two weeks now and they did send me pics when I asked them. They say the men in ghana treat them bad. And they want to find love somewhere else. Am I being scammed.
  • Guy in co:

    If they ask you for money, then you're being scammed. Be wary and never send them any money.
  • A Dania Brat has been contacting me started on Facebook then she ask that i get a Yahoo Message account. I did. She wanted me to fly her miami and meet me there. She seemed very convincing and the pictures she sent very good looking. I ticket she got to airport said they would not let her leave needed $2500 BTA wanted me to send, I refused and canceled flight ticket which I was able to get a refund we still chat, she seems very convincing still wants to meet. I have not let her know I believe it is a scam. What do you think and have you had any contact from her She has a Facebook account. Any info would be appreciated.
  • I'm currently in this situation. An American-Spanish contractor in Los Angeles California I've met in SinglesAroundMe had a project/contract in Lagos, Nigeria. He got robbed and asking me to loan him money for his plane ticket and hotel bills. I asked him to contact the US Embassy and he told me that the embassy can only help him with $650 with no obligations but isn't enough. He'll be needing $3000 in total. I'm skeptic about this and need your advise.

    Name: Alfred Williams
    Email address used: alfredwilliams1971@yahoo.com
    He's staying right now at De Next Hotel 25 Crescent Avenue PO Box 7501 Lagos Nigeria. (address doesn't match what I probed online for the hotel)
    He said he no longer have phone but he can be reached through the hotel's manager # at +2348084206769.
  • Hi Lily, please don't make any payment to him. It's a scam. There is no hotel with the mentioned name. Please google the hotel name. I have just got married with Nigerian at Lagos three weeks ago. The hotels there normally should have their webiste but not the PO box. The call normally goes to the reservation not the hotel manager. Please be careful. Take care.
  • Just thought this link might be helpful to people:

    http://www.midsummerseve.com/article/online_dating_scams_419

    A friend was recently contacted by a supposed Major in the UN Defence Force. He courted her beautifully but alarm bells rang. All the photos he sent her were a little too perfect so she started to investigate. Lo and behold when she Googled his uniform his picture appeared and yes it was a totally different person! She confronted him online with this and reported his Facebook page as fraudulent. Needless to say she hasn't heard a word from him again.
  • Im a concerned friend my question is a friend of mine has been dating a guy from egypt for over 16 months now and the last time she was there he proposed to her all this is sweet just that he would like to come and visit uk but needs to apply for a visa but he says its so difficult and has to prove losts of things and have a substantial amount of money in his account which he dosent have and as asked her for the money to be put into his acccount which has to stay there for 6 months then once he obtains the visa and comes to her in the uk will give it back is this true and how much is needed hope someone can help me
  • Its never a good idea to send anyone any money. Majority of these relationships are fake and fraudulent. Not a good idea at all. Beware
  • i understand thats too this is what i have said but she hasnt sent any money and wen they have been together in egypt the have shared to expenses im just concerned bout this visa and how much the egyptian goverment say he needs to have into his account and keep it there for about 6 months before they would consider a visa if anyone could help be greatful.
  • hm. Contact these guys http://www.nilevalleytravel.com/ they are Egyptian travel agency, they should be able to give you all the advice needed for free.
  • i tried this and nothing there must be some way of finding out how he has to obtain a visa and the money matter i am appreciating all the advice too ty so much
  • I was nearly dooped by these cruel folks... They did not even ask for money (yet)... They were hurt and offended that I would not give them my house address. I asked to skype... excuse, phone call... excuse, contact UN employer for verification... excuse.
    How did I know this was fake? Gut instinct (call it God's sweet still, small voice), poor grammer, "too good to be true" sob story, the most adorable (again too good to be true) pictures of the cutest Labrador I have ever seen, Long pauses when I asked certain questions, frustration and anger when I refused to give personal information (my address), and end of conversation when I asked "What airline shipped your puppy to Cameroon without first checking your customs paperwork?". I don't think that this person was looking for the $120 for a dog crate to ship their free dog to me... I think this person was after my financial identity. What makes me the saddest is that they used our (American Christians) kind hearts against us. I was wanting a dog... but more importantly I thought I was going to also help a very sweet UN Volunteer by receiving her beloved puppy.

    Tip: Anyone smart enough to work for the UN as a health care provider
    1.) won't have broken English (even if they are not American... they would be highly educated)
    2.) would be wise enough to check international customs/import rules prior to flying
    3.) could NOT ship a dog on ANY international flight without first getting the appropriate paperwork

    I have lived overseas 3 times. I have shipped my pet overseas. Let me guarantee you that NO young puppy can EVER be shipped internationally until it has extensive shots (again this is why they cannot be a young puppy... it takes time to get all the appropriate shots). There are many hoops and paperwork to shipping a dog internationally and it is EXPENSIVE (thousands of dollars)! If the story sounds AMAZING it is too good to be true.

    Last tip: Contact Experian, Equifax or TransUnion to place a fraud alert on your account/name/ssn etc if you give these people your name, e-mail, phone number, address! They are professional con artists with evil intent.

    Below is the sob-story that I nearly fell for:
    From: angelaforzi1@gmail.com
    Thanks for the mail and interest in the little girl. She is 14 weeks
    old and her name is Kutie. Kutie is our darling angel. We are on a
    volunteer mission to Cameroon together with the UN malaria committee
    ,in regards to the disease in pregnant women and children. We traveled
    up here together with Kutie and my daughter. They wont allow Kutie
    into the country for reason being that, pets are not allowed into the
    country from other countries and i have been given a maximum of 2
    weeks to send her. So that is the reason i have to find for her a home
    back where she will be showered with all that love and affection.
    Hope you wont mind if i ask you a few
    questions:

    Do you have kids?................
    Do you have any experience with puppies?..............
    Are you a breeder or will you breed her in the future if i let you
    have her?...........
    Will you send us updates about her from time to time and
    pictures?....................

    I am 45 just being concerned about the type of home she will be
    going to ,so that is why i am curious to know. We love her so much and
    we want to make sure goes to a family that will show her the affection
    she deserves. She is health guaranteed,AKC registered and will come
    along with all her papers,diapers,dog blanket,play toys, crate and
    food menu. She is very playful and goes along with kids and other home
    pets. She loves to be held and cuddled and sometimes wants all the
    attention for herself. . So if you can stand the chance of taking her
    home, you will only need to buy her a new travel crate because the one
    she came in with is bad it will cost just $120 for a new crate ,this
    money for crate will be paid directly to the airport to provide the
    travel crate .. But i am sorry i first of all need to know the answers
    to my questions before i will know if we can proceed with the
    transportation arrangements.Waiting to read from you soon. Attach to
    this mail are her pictures just hope you will love her as if she is
    your own kids.
  • Met this lady online last year, claiming to be a citizen of Canada living in the UK. Wants to come to the US. Needs $7000 in usd for stf. Says it costs more because she not a UK citizen. True or false? Also says she needs extra funds for a plane ticket, needs a medical certificate, a yellow tag, and a lass pass. Can somebody shed some light on this subject? I have sent quite a bit of money to this lady. I do have photos, a story line from her and all the stories she has sent about what she does for a living, etc. Have I got suckered into something really bad? Sounds convincing, but where can I check and see if the name she claims to be, is on record applying for plane ticket, and supporting documents supposedly needed to travel?
    I do have an address. How can I check to find out if it is legitimate? Any help would be appreciated.
  • got an email below ...is this a scam

    Hello Gentle Man,My Name is Cynthia Jones from(The States)I'm sending
    you this mail for an offer,i will need you on my
    on trip to Africa on the 29th of July,we will be there for 8 days,i
    will need you to escort me on the trip to the republic of Nigeria,i
    just check on your AD and i found you attractive and thinks you are
    fit for the trip,as i found you so cool on the internet and decided to
    pick
    you,please reply
    me back only if you want to go with me,i hope the sum of 2000 pounds daily
    for one week(8days)is okay?and upfront will be made available to even
    before you leave your state or country,all necessary documents will be
    arranged,so feel free to get back to me immediately you receive the
    message only if you are willing to go with me.look forward to hearing
    back from you.please do get back to me asap because of other things at
    hand because am always busy and travel a lot.LOL.i hope you can give
    me a maximum massages and good escorting service and lots!
    guess i will enjoy your service! Get back to me on my email
    link(cynthiat60@gmail.com)
  • hi frnds ,,,i m being scammed as well...there is a girl who claimed be an australian but is in nigeria to buy some trade things ,she met me on tagged.com ...she claims to have an accident and now in hopeday hospital ,lagos ...she needs 490 dollars to clear her hospitall bills and i m being asked for that ,,,she claims to like me and stay with me for rest of her life and marru me as soon as she gets to australia after paying the bill ,,,but i have come to know that i m being scammed because of this wesite ....beware of such people guys!!!
  • hi m sam ....the name of that "australian"girl is vanessa wilson and her email id id prettyvanessa772@gmail.com ,,,the contact number of the hospital she gave me is +234 805 964 9725 LAGOS ,NIGERIA
  • A man who contacted me on Fb now wants to marry me. Says he has applied for a marriage license in Nigeria and the moment he gets it he will marry me. I am a US citizen and have nothing for him to scam from me, he says he loves me.He assures me that he will take good care of me, as long as I can promise to be there for him through good and bad times. We are the exact same age (mature). His father Canadian was killed in a car accident but was supposedly a Chemical engineer, the Mother is Nigerian. He says he is a building contractor. The problem is a friend told me this is a scam and that there are many scammers that come out of Nigeria professing to have lost one or both parents, and are always an only child! I have nothing , honestly , nothing but my love, so what kind of scam is this? He frequently travels from US to Nigeria. Should I be concerned?
  • Sherri,

    Your friend is correct, this is a common scenario for scammers (read many of the accounts in our scam threads for more history). Please be wary, there is a high likelihood that sometime in the near future somethine will 'go wrong' (ie. he'll get sick, have a business emergency, be robbed, get stuck at customs, etc) and he will ask you for money. DO NOT GIVE HIM ANY.

    Keep in mind that as much as you may care about this person, you have never met him. Guard your heart and your wallet!
  • Thank you so much Anya! He has even gotten upset and asked me not to discuss our relationship with anyone else! He says he wants to surprise everyone with the marriage. I honestly have no money, no visa cards , no bank account, nothing to give him! I do not even own a car and I told him this, so I'm not sure where or how this will work for him in a scam. He has picked the wrong person in that case because I cannot help him!
  • Im going through a similar situation myself. I have met a man online who is from nigeria and lives in cyprus right now. we have been talking for about 6 months. I just booked my ticket to go visit him for about ten days. I told him that im fully aware that there is scammers out here and he was very insulted. He never asked me for money and he is looking for love. He has been living in cyprus for 4 years now after finishing school and he says that he is very lonely. Also, when we first met he told me that he was from cape town and then later confessed that he lied and he was really from nigeria and was afraid to tell anyone online that he is really from nigeria because of all the negetive things being said about nigerian people.... I trust him enough to go visit him but its still something in the back of my head that just dont know what im getting myself into..
  • Hi, it's too late, i already sent a money to my so called online boyfriend Richard Williams (r.williams@yahoo.com) before i realized that it was a scam. Yes i know that was very stupid of me.
    He said he's from UK and having a project in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, which is a city in Africa. He will go to the US for a contract signing before going to Asia to meet me. He asked me for my address as he wants to send some of his clothes. He said he talked to a US diplomat to carry a box with some of his clothes and the diplomat will give it to me. The diplomat will fly on Monday and i will get the box on Wednesday. Then he told me he put some money inside the box and other valuables things he bought for me.
    By Wed, i got a call from the diplomat, using a Malaysian number +60 16 390 5802, he said he is being held in the immigration because of the box. He needs money for the tax and duties, so i sent him some money. He was not able to clear the box on that day. Then the next day, the immigration found the money inside the box and he needs to pay more, so i sent another money. Still, he was not able to clear the box, the papers should be signed by the boss but the boss left early. That night i realized that i was being fooled, i search in the internet and found similar cases.

    The account numbers are
    Maybank 16416497187 Ismalina Binti Ismail
    Maybank 164155569274 Wahida Binti Abdrazak

    The numbers they are using are
    +1 727 222 0122
    +44 7927 744916
    +60 11 1669 5271
    +60 16 390 5802
  • am really feeling real down now ,would have cried if I was still a kid.i am a Nigerian based in southafrica,i got a lady online she is from Australia,we hv been dating long time,i send her gifts once in every month,i hv neva asked her for money or complained,she wants me to come to Australia bt it wnt be dt easy as it could be for her to com here.i told her to com to southafrica so we could marry n she can go bak with the documents,i promised to pay her flight ticket...now I am scared cus if she read all dis stories about Nigerian I will loose her.pls my fellow Nigerians les stop dis scams pls :'(
  • You sound like a good person. Maybe you can tell me.  If a US citizen is in S Africa, and wants to fly home to United States, do they have to have a PTA amount of 3000$ in the pocket before the can board a plane?   justme2
  • Justme2:

    No. This is 100% a scam. Absolute bollocks.

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