15,000 Euro gem scam

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#1 Sep 13th, 2012, 15:45
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  • JonTempDoe is offline
#1
I post so that you know this is still alive and has new twists. As identical tax evasion-courier stories have been posted before in much detail (no, they are not fictions) I'll tell only the new bits.

To answer the inevitable questions I admit to being young, naive, idealistic and very trusting. Please note that greed and a promise that everything I'd do would be strictly legal are what hooked me but the only reason I followed through is because of trust - once someone gets you to trust them you become blinded to faults that are otherwise easily apparent. I felt at times that things were not entirely right but put it down to this being normal for a 'shady business' and woke up to reality entirely about 4 hours after I'd paid when I was in the airport and did a few online searches to relieve the worries.

The new bits in the story are taking me to what appeared to be a courthouse (they took photos and a thumbprint, it looked legit) to sign documents showing payment and receipt of goods making the transfer probably impossible to contest via any legal institution. Also, as part of the fake payment for the jewels I 'bought' (that is, a charade was set up) 10,000 euro's worth of traveller's cheques and later signed a court document that I'd lost them (enabling insurance claims for the company). Note that I signed before I read and only bothered to read once we were back in the car (again - trust).
Also note that if these are real court documents this is a criminal offense i.e. forgery and since traveller's cheques are concerned it also involves India-US relations...

The money is still in my bank account, but the credit transaction is confirmed and cash will be withdrawn in 3 weeks. I do not ask for miracle solutions, I doubt there are any and due to the new twists in the story the potential losses of legal action probably outweigh the potential gain so I consider this a very expensive lesson in trust... I still intend to be as trusting as possible in everything except for money, but I guess with money I'll go get someone else's help...

If you are aware of anonymous newspapers/investigative journals which could make good use of the full story let me know and I'll tell them. I don't have many real details, but I do have some (no pictures unfortunately) and if someone really does want to track these people down it could prove a start.

I'll not answer flames/threads which doubt the credibility of the story. It is true, if you want to believe you will if you don't then don't.
#2 Sep 13th, 2012, 16:42
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  • Hembrom is offline
#2
I really hope you got yourself help for sorting this out. Ask your embassy/police/ bank/ lawyer/ what can be done, especially to keep your money. If its still in your bank-acount- tell your bank to stop any transaction or withdraw yourself.
You are not capable to deal with this yourself- get help asap.
#3 Sep 13th, 2012, 16:51
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Am home and talking to a lawyer...
#4 Sep 13th, 2012, 17:02
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#4
Block the transaction first....
#5 Sep 13th, 2012, 17:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonTempDoe View Post ...

The money is still in my bank account, but the credit transaction is confirmed and cash will be withdrawn in 3 weeks...
First you need to contact your bank with an instruction to block the transaction. You would be required to give it in writing...

Further, you need to contact nearest police station (or the police station of your area) and discuss the matter with the chief. Police knows these type of scams are taking place, hence would be able to help you!

Hope, everything is corrected!
#6 Sep 13th, 2012, 17:59
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#6
It's a bit more complicated because usually the credit transaction can only be canceled by the store.
The bank has no power and the credit card company has only a few instances (such as stolen identity) which allow it to cancel the transaction. This was a legally made and confirmed (if stupid) card swipe.

This is an unusual case however, we'll see...
#7 Sep 13th, 2012, 18:09
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Where in India did this take place?
#8 Sep 13th, 2012, 18:11
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Got picked up in Jaipur and the transactions took place in Delhi... took a very short period of time altogether.
Once they saw me getting antsy they picked up the pace a bit as well...
#9 Sep 13th, 2012, 18:18
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JonTempDoe, thanks for coming on here to tell us about this. I'm sorry to hear that you got caught up in all this. The new details, like the courthouse, are important to know and may help someone else avoid this scam.

I'm sorry to hear that your credit card won't cancel payment. Will they if you have a police statement? If you haven't already asked them that, maybe it would be worth checking out. Best of luck to you, and thanks for sharing the new details of the scam.
#10 Sep 13th, 2012, 19:40
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Originally Posted by DaisyL View Post Will they if you have a police statement? If you haven't already asked them that, maybe it would be worth checking out.
They must do, else they would be treated as party of the whole scam!
#11 Sep 13th, 2012, 20:22
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonTempDoe View Post ... but the only reason I followed through is because of trust - once someone gets you to trust them you become blinded to faults that are otherwise easily apparent.
It is greed all the way in such scams, don't sugarcoat it with 'trust'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonTempDoe View Post I'll not answer flames/threads which doubt the credibility of the story. It is true, if you want to believe you will if you don't then don't.
Basically you are saying 'Trust me' ...You have to realise that questions are a part of all this, mostly because people might want to know the whole situation. It does not mean that they do not believe you, so be open to answering.
If you find my posts confrontationist, please bear, I am an old frustrated guy who has nothing better to do than sit on rocking chair and curse the world whole day
#12 Sep 13th, 2012, 21:23
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Not a record here. But, an expensive education. For post-graduate study read a book titled, "Yellow Dog" Weil. Its the biography of a turn of the 1900's con man. You sit there howling at the stupidity of the marks and the audaciousness of the schemes, great read. He concludes that he couldn't have pulled off these scams (inspiration for the movie, The Sting) unless the targets were dishonest at heart and out to get something for nothing. Fortunately for him 99% were. He lived to be 101 living off the greed of people..
#13 Sep 13th, 2012, 22:24
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Quote:
I'm sorry to hear that your credit card won't cancel payment. Will they if you have a police statement? If you haven't already asked them that, maybe it would be worth checking out.
Thanks
It'll take a few more days before I know anything definite... the whole legal business is probably going to be at least as much an emotional hassle as the scam...


Quote:
It is greed all the way in such scams, don't sugarcoat it with 'trust'.
Quote:
He concludes that he couldn't have pulled off these scams (inspiration for the movie, The Sting) unless the targets were dishonest at heart and out to get something for nothing.
I guess I can't really claim objectivity and I don't deny the allure of something for nothing but two days after signing on I thought 'this is too easy' and proceeded to find charities to give half of the 'cut' to. If I got lucky and found a ton of money on the ground others should share in the blessing. Is this dishonest at heart? There was even a point at the end (before I had paid) when things started getting a little too shady and I said 'forget it, I'll finish the deal but I don't want any money' where they said 'you can't take so little, I wouldn't feel comfortable' which in retrospect I find rather amusing.

And I agree that greed is a powerful driving force, I just don't think that it is enough. These guys really (the boss character especially) gave me a feeling of a gentle, generous individual who wouldn't take advantage of me. Writing these words shows their inherent stupidity (takes advantage of government and country but not of me?!), but at the time I wasn't analyzing, I was feeling.
#14 Sep 13th, 2012, 22:54
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The most valuable part of any education is discovering the self. Its a journey of itself..
#15 Sep 14th, 2012, 02:20
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I came to India and actually 'found myself'... Imagine that! XD
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