Jewellery scam, people to avoid in Goa

#1 Sep 24th, 2007, 20:11
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  • Sarah and Shelley is offline
#1
I am very embarassed to have to admit to this but my partner and I fell for the jewellery scam in Goa earlier this week.

We met a group of "nice friendly locals" who we spent quite a bit of time with in bars and at their flat, a few weeks in total as "friends". We initially refused to get involved with their plan to export some jewellery and gem stones in our name and thus make us and them a lot of money (by tax evasion). We said no no no we don't have the money but eventually they convinced us that we wouldn't need to pay anything, not even the insurance fees they were initially asking for the postage.

We watched them wrap the so-called jewels and take them to the post office to send to Paris. Next they called us saying about problems, as customs wanted to see proof that we had actually paid for the gems. We were lead to believe that now the package had been posted in our name we would be in a lot of trouble if we couldn't prove to customs that we had paid for it ourselves. This is how they got our money. We stupidly took some money out of the bank. Despite promises otherwise they used our own flight tickets to get back to England and await our return flights (and money) saying that if they bought our flights "customs would be suspicious". Customs was their answer to most questions we asked. Back in England they ignored all of our calls and texts. Thakfully we have cancelled the credit card transation but our bank accounts are still very empty and we lost 2 months of our holiday by agreeing to fly back early.

These guys are pretty convincing and obviously know their scam inside out. The main guys go by the names of Vicky (our initial "friend" who has a deformed right hand), Alex, Ali and Mark. If you come acoss any of these guys be warned that they are playing this scam. Their flat is by Mr Toffs Toff Pub in Calangute/Baga in Goa, the flat is painted orange with murals of a mermaid, Buddha and dragon on the wall, they have uv lights and lazers set up and DJing equipment to entice party-goers there. Their "office" (the jewellery shop they took us to) was opposite the orange and white painted hotel called the Seagull in Calangute. They had a folder with other peoples passport photocopies and postage reciepts which suggests they've done this scam many times before.

Pretty shameful that we fell for this one when there are so many warnings about it online. Please avoid these people, they really really have no morals. They know we have a child, how long it had taken us to save for our trip, the fact we get paid minimum wage (they appeared to be genuinely shocked by what a small wage that is!) and how little money we had.
#2 Sep 24th, 2007, 21:16
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  • edwardseco is offline
#2
Its an extremely old scam, perhaps the most well known. You can find it written up in the Lonely Planet guidebook. Still, its a cheap education compared to real estate transactions in home country (and doubly so in India)..
#3 Sep 24th, 2007, 22:20
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#3
Sorry you had to learn the hard way!

I don't trust anyone that would tell me a story like that. Like they say, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
#4 Sep 25th, 2007, 01:06
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#4
Thanks for sharing; Ananda2193 is right.

Hans

Tips for trips to India with (young) children: India with kids
Our travel blog (mostly in Dutch): Reisfamilie
#5 Sep 25th, 2007, 02:25
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#5
Hi There Sarah and Shelly,

Thankyou for your post and for alerting others of this scam.
It is very gracious of you both to highlight your experience and this will undoubtedly prevent many others from falling into the same trap.

It is very sad that there are scrupulous individuals out there in Goa ready to pounce on unsuspecting and sometimes vulnerable Foreigners.

It is good that you named and shamed the culpruts involved and it is very sad that you were conned in this way in the first place.

Kind Regards,
Remy
#6 Sep 25th, 2007, 02:26
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#6
I still don't understand how the scam works..
#7 Sep 25th, 2007, 03:01
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crvlvr:
just send me your credit card number and a fax of your signature I will explain it to you in detail
#8 Sep 25th, 2007, 03:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robotvoice View Post crvlvr:
just send me your credit card number and a fax of your signature I will explain it to you in detail
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
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#9 Sep 25th, 2007, 08:17
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotvoice
crvlvr:
just send me your credit card number and a fax of your signature I will explain it to you in detail


Me too. The story is so detailed it sucks people in. Didn't ask the amount but the record to my knowledge is 5 000 Sterling. Great article in the New Yorker 2006 about a psychiatrist sucked in by a Nigerian 411 scheme. At the end of all his travails including jail he says maybe something just went wrong. His wife screams..
#10 Sep 25th, 2007, 09:00
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post Great article in the New Yorker 2006 about a psychiatrist sucked in by a Nigerian 411 scheme. At the end of all his travails including jail he says maybe something just went wrong. His wife screams..
Yikes -- there was a guy over here in OZ who got suckered for $400,000 - and one of the scammers pretended to be a beautiful woman who wanted to meet him. Even when the police took him to Nigeria, confronted the guys who ripped him off and the scam was revealed - he said it was his fault that he didnt give them more money to cover the customs/tax/fees etc. And he couldnt believe that the woman didnt exist.

Made me so angry!
#11 Sep 25th, 2007, 15:21
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#11
Quote:
one of the scammers pretended to be a beautiful woman who wanted to meet him.
Even dating sites and matrimonial sites are full of them.

There's one site I put my details on a few years ago, which doesn't seem to have a 'close your account option'.

Every couple of months I get an email saying 'abc is interested...'. Always turns out to be a stunningly beautiful 20-something girl of African origin. Now, I know there are some countries where there are women are just desperate to get out, and some where a much older man is seen as desirable, even.

But a 55-year old man would need a massive dose of vanity and desperation to believe in the existence of that 20-something black girl! Pull the other one. Only make it a leg this time
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#12 Sep 25th, 2007, 19:05
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post a 55-year old man would need a massive dose of vanity

..... or Viagra!
#13 Sep 25th, 2007, 19:22
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#13
Too True

A harem is a wonderful idea.

In theory.
#14 Dec 28th, 2008, 20:14
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#14
thank you for shareing im in goa now and people are trying to get me to post some gems with my name on it to england like you said they are really frendly and they get you into to clubs for free and be like your best friend, carnt beleve i nearly fell for it
#15 Dec 28th, 2008, 22:51
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#15
Even if scams can happen to anyone, I'm always very suspicious of 'too friendly local strangers', especially if they are into jewel trading...
holikarang

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