Fun on Friday: Romance Scam!
Fun on Friday is supposed to be, well, fun. But I also like to offer useful advice. So this week, I have a tip for you. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants you to send them a bunch of money in order to help them sell gold, don’t do it. It’s a scam.
Seriously. Just don’t. Don’t send people you’ve never met money.
I bring this up because we have yet another guy busted for running a gold scam targeting lonely, vulnerable people — in this case women. According to reports from a Charlotte TV station, Suleman Alhassan and his posse targeted women through dating apps. He promised them romance and wealth.
Look, I dabbled in online dating. I actually met my wife on Yahoo Personals. But overall, in my experience, you’re damn lucky if you get romance and you sure as heck aren’t getting rich.
But as the old saying goes, live in hope, die in despair. Or in the case of these unfortunate scam victims, die a little bit poorer.
According to prosecutors, Alhassan pocketed over $1 million in his little scam.
He ran a pretty typical Gahannian gold scam. Alhassan claimed he owned a bunch of gold in Africa, but he needed cash to ship it to the US. Then he promised to share the profits with his girlfriend.
Now, as I’ve said here many times, I’m pretty cynical. But I would think even a trusting person would see big waving red flags if some dude told them that they have thousands of dollars worth of gold but no money to ship it. I mean what? Really?
Nah. I ain’t buyin’ what he’s selling.
Of course, he’s not selling anything but BS.
Nevertheless, a lot of people bought.
I figure Alhassan must be a pretty smooth talker because these women not only sent him money – they sent him A LOT of money. According to WSOC, “Prosecutors said Alhassan would get the victims to send cash to him hidden in the mail by tucking cash inside of magazines, sometimes $30,000 to $40,000 at a time.”
Let me circle back to my initial advice. Don’t send people you’ve never met money. And especially don’t send people you’ve never met $30K tucked into your old copy of Better Homes and Gardens.
Wow. That was a weird sentence to type.
I don’t want to be mean. I do feel sorry for these duped women. But I just can’t fathom how anybody could fall for this.
By the way, Alhassan pleaded guilty. He hasn’t been sentenced yet, but I’m pretty sure his quest for riches is over. He may find romance in the Big House — but probably not the kind he wants.
As for you, I’ll just reiterate – don’t send some guy (or gal) you met online cash stuffed in a magazine. If you want to buy gold, just call a SchiffGold precious metals specialist. You’re not going to get any romance. That would just be weird. But one out of two ain’t bad.
Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and the economy, and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.