A citizen of a European country, Mr. Klein, received a highly interesting email out of the blue. Its text seemed compelling and life-changing. It so happened that during a routine inspection at the airport of a larger USA city, the staff discovered several boxes with the most peculiar content. They held banknotes worth over 15 million US dollars and weirdly enough this large amount of money was accompanied by Mr. Klein’s email. A thoughtful employee, Mr. Brown, informed Mr. Klein about the unusual finding and gave a most lucrative proposal. If Mr. Klein was willing to give 10% of the lucky discovery, Mr. Brown would gladly send him the rest of the cash. The offer seemed too good to refuse, and Mr. Klein accepted it gladly. Several weeks later Mr. Klein received another email from Mr. Brown asking for $350 so he could prove to the airport authorities they were working together. Mr. Klein thought nothing of it and obliged the request. After all, what’s another 350 dollars when a man is about to become a millionaire? It’s important to note that for the weeks that would pass, Mr. Brown had been providing documents and paperwork corroborating the story of the imminent money shipment. Mr. Brown had all the reasons to believe that his unexpected gains were on the way.
Small payment at first, to warm up the situation
The additional payments were just small obstacles that were easily solvable with several bucks. Soon enough, Mr. Brown demanded more funds. This time he needed €200 for demurrage, and once again Mr. Klein paid up. It was after the third money request that Mr. Klein started being suspicious. This time Mr. Brown was lacking 500$ to organize a security escort to transfer the money safely. Mr. Klein begrudgingly cashed out. Finally, Mr. Brown asked for another €200 in order to open the security locks on the boxes. This time Mr. Klein had had enough and he refused to provide any more funds. He understood he had been a victim of a scam all along, and he didn’t want to participate in it any further.
A typical fraudulent scenario kicks in
This is a typical example of how many fraudulent scenarios work. A target is enticed with an opportunity that’s too good to be true. Commonly, they get the chance to earn huge amounts of money, but alas there is a tiny problem that can be overcome with a small payment. Once an individual grabs the bait they get strung along with extra costs and delays. The scammers will try to extort as much money as possible. They will create scenarios where the victim feels that their money is just one easy step away, all they need to do is pay extra cash. Crooks will recycle this formula as long as the victim is willing to pay, sometimes incurring financial loss up to thousands of dollars.
Disclaimer – This story has been written with the main goal of spreading awareness, scam prevention, and education. It represents real-life events, but certain details and names of the characters have been altered for the sake of anonymity.