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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sending Money Via Western Union Type Service: Scam Alert

This is an article I posted on Alibaba.com after almost getting scammed....

There are so many scammers on this site, it can be downright hard work trying to find the legitimate ones. So let me give you the best advice I possibly can: I do not care what someone tells you, how many pictures of their "alleged" products they have, as soon as they mention the word "Western Union" or any other type of money wiring, IT IS A SCAM. These types of services are for 1. People that do not have bank accounts 2. Money as a gift 3. To pay a bill (i.e. car payment). If you send someone money this way, plan on never getting it back. Legitimate companies will NEVER EVER ask you to pay this way.(Ask yourself, when have you ever bought something from a store, and you "Moneygrammed" your payment for it?) If you need more proof, just browse through this forum of hundreds of people that are trying to find ways to get their money back.This is my recent experience: I was dealing with a company I thought was legit. I checked them out on the internet, and it was an actual electronics company in Hong Kong. However, this guy had a free yahoo address(Why not have an email address from the company?) And when I checked out the IP address from the emails, they were traced to Nigeria. Then when he sent an email stating that method of Payment was Western Union, I knew he was a scammer. Also, the name he said to wire the money to was completely different, a 'Aletor Itua'; When I searched this name, I found endless articles of people being scammed from this same person. For fun, I emailed the scammer, telling him that I won't do Western Union, and recommended Escrow.com. This is the email I received back: "this is my HONG KONG NATIONAL ID CARD,i have never done this before not even to the most trusted customer i will not send my ID card to that person the reason is that here in HONG KONG anyone could be easily located and arrested wherever you are so everyone here in HONG KONG do not give out there ID CARD but i have decided do this because of what you said in the content of your first mail and you wanted someone who could work with you to achieve success . The person that taught you and gave you all those informations are very correct but i want to inform you that if there are bad people in business there are also good people , 10 bad fruits on a tree does not make the whole fruits on the tree bad i want to assure you of a good deal you just wait and see also i want you to know that western union is not established for bad transaction western union is a legal means , but bad people just want to make it bad also do you know that there have been recent reports of cheat via paypal, escrow mr peter with this email bp20002003@yahoo.co.uk was cheated of about 13,000 dolars via paypal escrow but when he met me today he his happy as he bought goods worth 1800 dollars and he his happy in conclusion it is not method of payment that really matters what matters is the person that you wants to buy from , i have conscience oaky and i have promised myself to be good always and not cheat anyone i want to assure you that you are ina a safe hand just go ahead and send the money right now and give me the MTCN today and i will get back to your email with the FEDEX shipment tracking numkber today take me for my word i am expecting to hear from you N.B . please please please my national id card i send to you is my life please , i will send your item and also to the second address immediatelly i get the MTCN after you have your items i will require you to inform me . THANKS. Stephen Lai " REMEMBER THEY ARE GOOD.....THEY MAKE A LIVING THIS WAY! We are all keeping the scammers thriving by falling for their tricks. Please, please please do your research, and keep your money safe by only dealing with legitimate companies with legitimate payment methods, like www.escrow.com. I posted an ad for wanting to buy Nintendo Wii's, and I received over 40 responses- all fake. Be Careful and be Wise.

This is the advice from Western Union:

"Consumer fraud is an issue that Western Union takes very seriously. Consumers rely on Western Union for its speed, convenience and reliability when sending money to friends and loved ones around the world. However, we know that scam artists have also tried to take advantage of our good name in their attempts to defraud consumers. In response, Western Union has worked cooperatively with companies like eBay to post messages from Western Union on their site, we've worked with organizations like AARP and the National Consumers League to promote educational efforts and, wherever possible, we work with law enforcement to prosecute the criminals who victimize consumers and our business.
Western Union strongly advises consumers NOT to use money transfer services when sending money to someone they don't know personally. This sounds like simple advice, but scam artists are intelligent and creative. More and more frequently, these individuals are using the Internet, mail and telephone to create the illusion of a relationship. It's important for consumers to remember that sharing a few e-mails or even a phone call, does not mean you truly know the individual on the other end of the line. And, of course, the old adage holds true…if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.Western Union cares about the consumers who use our business. We know they work hard for their money. That's why we are working to educate people about the various types of consumer fraud. For more information on protecting yourself from fraud, please visit www.westernunion.com. "
- If you wired money via Western Union, and were scammed, call 1-800-325-6000 (W.U. Fraud Department )


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