Manali Jewellery/Gem Scam

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#106 Feb 24th, 2017, 05:46
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#106
Sad to hear your story, FoolishTraveller. India has taught you a very bitter lesson.

I hope it does not stop you from traveling and trusting people. All the best with rebuilding your life.

Have you spoken to local police to see if they can help in any way in recovering your funds?
#107 Feb 24th, 2017, 05:58
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#107
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Originally Posted by FoolishTraveler View Post
It happened this month in Fort Kochi/Ernakulam in Kerala.


Kerala is often recommended as the preferred destination for the novice to begin their India trip as it is supposedly more easy going and bustling with other young freshers .. what can go wrong.
Also the latest prime territory for deceivers .. moving to where the pickings are easiest.
#108 Feb 24th, 2017, 08:00
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#108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Govindpuri View Post Sad to hear your story, FoolishTraveller. India has taught you a very bitter lesson.

I hope it does not stop you from traveling and trusting people. All the best with rebuilding your life.

Have you spoken to local police to see if they can help in any way in recovering your funds?
Thank you and everyone else for the support, I really appreciate it. I have indeed learned a very difficult lesson, but perhaps it will prevent me from making an even worse mistake in the future, and better to experience it now while I am still young and can recover.

This experience has definitely altered my perspective of the world, however, it has not changed the passion I have for learning about other people, other cultures, and exploring what this world has to offer. If anything this drive is the only thing that will allow me to recover and right now I am doing everything I can to make back enough money to still participate in my exchange program in Korea in the fall. This is definitely not the end to my travels and I have not lost all faith the generosity and kindness of others.

I have yet to contact my local police department as from the research I have conducted it seems that there is likely little they can actually do. From my understanding the only recourse would have been to file a report to the local police in India and try to catch them there, but since I was forced to leave and have since lost contact with the men, there is not much that can be done. I am still reporting the issue to my banks(one to just get new cards and second to just let them know about this type of issue so that they might develop a system to look out for a similar occurrence in the future(it was ridiculously easy to get them to do the transactions) and I will likely contact the embassy in the region to simply report my experience and advice them to warn other travelers. I have already accepted that there is pretty much no chance of actually getting any of the money back, but I know it is good to at least report the issue so that others will hopefully not fall victim.

In any case, thank you everyone for being supportive, most others I have told have been extremely judgmental, but it is really impossible to understand if you have not gone through the experience yourself.
#109 Feb 24th, 2017, 09:59
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#109
Poor fellow. Such a bad experience.
#110 Feb 25th, 2017, 17:46
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#110
Wow. Normally in such cases I have a general lack of empathy as the scammee should know better and the driving factor is normally greed.

In your case however this comes across as nothing but youthful naivety. I really do hope, if even possible, that this doesn't alter your desire to explore and more importantly, your desire to explore India.

Good luck earning it all back. At 20 you've got plenty of time.

NB
"See the World, then see India - because the World is an anti-climax"
#111 Feb 25th, 2017, 19:32
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#111
A very expensive experience, which I hope will indeed serve as a lesson.

What amazes me is that your bank removed the fraud protection on your card and proceeded with what was probably an abnormally large transaction without physically having seen you/verified ID or being certain that you were not acting under duress.
"It is preferable to have a criminal for a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are predictable and you can protect yourself against them, whereas there is no telling what a fool's next move will be.
#112 Feb 27th, 2017, 13:59
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#112
Sorry to know of your terrible experience. I hope you recover soon. And I'm glad that neither were you physically hurt nor have you been scared for life to try new things.

If the police wants to, they can. But I suspect they never will because they may be getting a cut. The hotel where it happened, the actors, the 'Custom officials', the Post office clerk, etc. are all conniving together to loot unsuspecting travelers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillichaat View Post What amazes me is that your bank removed the fraud protection on your card and proceeded with what was probably an abnormally large transaction without physically having seen you/verified ID or being certain that you were not acting under duress.
I bank with HDFC in Delhi. I have reduced my transaction limits from the default because I don't transact as much.

Hence this curiosity question: When we need it and we verify it, wouldn't the banks proceed to serve us as we requested? Of course, there are checks and balances and if one is willingly making changes to facilitate a transaction one really wants to do, the bank will only help with it. For example, I've increased my transaction limits a few times for valid purposes and once I authenticated using two-factor authentication and after giving it 30 minutes of 'bake in' time, my bank increased the limits.
“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming ... WOW! What a ride!”
#113 Feb 27th, 2017, 14:55
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#113
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfog View Post Hence this curiosity question: When we need it and we verify it, wouldn't the banks proceed to serve us as we requested? Of course, there are checks and balances and if one is willingly making changes to facilitate a transaction one really wants to do, the bank will only help with it. For example, I've increased my transaction limits a few times for valid purposes and once I authenticated using two-factor authentication and after giving it 30 minutes of 'bake in' time, my bank increased the limits.
Where I am, and with my bank, I have enabled an option that requires me to physically go to an agency and prove ID if I want to do a transaction over a certain limit. Obviously you need to pick that limit wisely as they did tell me very clearly that there would be no exceptions to the rule, regardless of the circumstances. Also, when doing transactions online I can enter a validation code that seems legit but results in a total lock on all acounts and alerts them that I'm not acting freely. Obviously, whether it's wise to do that if someone has a gun to your head is a different matter.

When travelling I'd seriously recommend taking a prepaid card along and leave banking gear in the hands of someone you can trust back home.

The scam described above relied on social engineering and worked because:

a) The poster was initially in holiday mood and not very sceptic;
b) He placed himself in a position where he agreed to collaborate in a scheme presented as 'a loophole', hence dodgy and of of doubtful legality, making recourse to the authorities difficult;
c) The poster allowed himself to be isolated (different hotel, turning off electronics etc) and in doing so made himself totally dependent on the scammers so they could go to work. Chances are, had he had the opportunity to sit down on his own and talk about what was happening (or posted a topic on this site) he could have walked away.
#114 Feb 27th, 2017, 14:59
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#114
There are worse scams.

Imagine being persuaded that one is taking part in a comedy show, only to be arrested for the murder of the victim, the baby oil smeared on his face being actually nerve gas. And being paid a pittance for it.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#115 Feb 27th, 2017, 15:11
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#115
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post There are worse scams.

Imagine being persuaded that one is taking part in a comedy show, only to be arrested for the murder of the victim, the baby oil smeared on his face being actually nerve gas. And being paid a pittance for it.
Especially the bold/underlined part being totally out of line . That is, if the explanation holds up under questioning. What happened to shoving someone under a truck, garroting or methods that don't involve using a nerve agent and a surviving loose end?
#116 Feb 27th, 2017, 22:51
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#116
... or stabbing the victim with a poisoned umbrella tip?

... or incompetently trying to get the guy to drink one of the most radioactive substances in their tea. And spreading it liberally around.

The Malaysian assassins were clever: they achieved their objective and left two possibly innocent (of intention at least) women holding the baby.
#117 Apr 19th, 2017, 23:35
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#117
Filing a report, a F.I.R. at the police is the first step to have something happen. Authoritites in your home country are unlikely to do any action that would help you recover your loss.
I have been in touch with a man who came back to India after such a scam, caught one guy, got police officers and lawyers high enough for the con artists not to be able to bribe them, after 3 years of investigation, the main guy was put in jail and the man I met was getting all his money back !!!

I went through a similar scam and solved it by going back to India also, i quickly got my money back as the local police was in touch with the con-artists and one of them was arrested.

To give yourself a chance to recover the money, coming back to India is a first step, filing a report at the police is needed and I believe being able to catch a guy is a good start, if you can get a contact through phone or identify a place/house where you were sent, met someone, etc... hotels and shops have records

This scam is the fruit of an excellent knowledge of the human psyche, leaving its victim in utter feeling of unworthiness for the least. I appeal to the people quick to judge to show here some compassion to victims of what is a very well thought mind game. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for them.
#118 Apr 20th, 2017, 00:35
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#118
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Originally Posted by Taliesyn427 View Post This scam is the fruit of an excellent knowledge of the human psyche, leaving its victim in utter feeling of unworthiness for the least. I appeal to the people quick to judge to show here some compassion to victims of what is a very well thought mind game. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for them.
Everybody thinks they can outwit the conman. That's the first surety the conman knows how to manipulate. It's no good going with your gut feeling when the conman has it wrapped around his little finger!

I don't think that anyone who has read this thread, or heard of this stuff elsewhere, should fall for it --- but anyone else could.
#119 Apr 22nd, 2017, 08:01
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#119
I would not suggest the purchase of any major stones or jewelry. You can find some nice sterling workmanship with "disputed" gems. The silver is cheap, and I noticed that it was recognized in Nepal. So don't make any major purchases but simple and cheap 925 should be OK. You many have to leave to get your price, but you may also be pegged to be followed so as to get you back.
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