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Stranded in a foreign country?

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:09 am
by Titania
One of the ways that a romance scammer gets money out of his victim is to claim that he is travelling in a foreign country and some disaster befalls him. He becomes ill, he has an accident, or he has been robbed of all his money, his credit cards, his plane ticket home, and his passport.

If the man you are corresponding with is a genuine person, he will be very grateful for your suggestion that he go to the US (or UK or whatever country he is from) Embassy or Consulate.

Here is a little bit of info from ( ... n_tvcp.htm)
If you have been the victim of a theft and have lost everything, such as all of your luggage, money, passport, credit cards, and more, the passport should be the first thing you see about. It's a very good idea to carry a copy of your credit cards too, especially the numbers and the phone numbers to call if something happens to the cards. If you're stranded with no funds and no passport, the embassy can help you get back on your feet. Ask around for the location of the embassy and go there in person; there are also 24-hour emergency phone numbers for the US State Department in the local phone books and posted at the airports in case something happens for which you need assistance when the embassy is closed.
Embassies and consulates have two purposes: 1 - to represent their country's interests in a foreign nation, and 2 - to represent the interests of their citizens in a foreign nation. They will not let a citizen of their country be stranded without funds - not in a hospital, not in a hotel, not in a jail.

So, if the man (I realize "women" try this, too, but they're usually men posing as women anyway) says he's stranded in a foreign country and needs you to send money to get him (or his child) medical treatment, plane tickets, or hotel bills, tell him to go to the Embassy. A "genuine" person will be very grateful for the suggestion. A scammer will fall all over himself telling you why the Embassy won't help him. (It's never that they can't - he'll say they refuse.)

Stick to your guns. Refuse to send him money. If you have to, call the State Department (or whatever the equivalent is in your country) and give them the info you have been given by the "traveller." Chances are, you will be advised that this is a scam.

The reactions I have gotten from insisting that a scammer contact the Embassy range from anger to accusations of not loving them to being dropped totally. If the third option happens to a victim, that could actually be the best thing for her. :)