With internet booming in Arab countries, we have been having our fair share of money scams. When we think about money scams, we may think of a large group of people working together in a small room, each one trying to chat up as many people as they can and try to milk some money out of their new cyber "buddies". But it is not always done in such an organized manner by people who do not have any other income or job; on the contrary; there are many cases of it being done individually by people who have jobs and a reasonable social status in society. These people are a part of our cyber societies and speak our language and are acquainted with our culture, so we need to be on the watch out for them, so that we can dismiss them as soon as they approach us.
Men and women alike are becoming manipulators in these money scams in the Arab world, and most of it is being done in the name of "love" or tied to marriage promises. It might not always be money the person is seeking, but it is usually tied to money in one way or another. It is good to keep your eyes out for such people because they are currently ordinary people seeking free monetary assistance and do not mind exploiting people online for such reasons. When I was first asked for money, I tried to Google all I could about such scams in the Arab region, but to my dismay there was nothing much to find so I decided to write this piece about my own experiences to help those who may be going or have gone through similar situations and are puzzled whether the people they are talking to are truthful or not, and whether they should send them money or not.
With that being said, when a person asks for money, they may truly need it, but that does not mean you need to send it to them. Especially in the Arab world, our communities and families operate in a collective way, so if they are serious about paying back the money, they should reach out to those close to them and whom they know in real life and not random people online.
I will now speak of a few stories that happened to me and hopefully they will be eyeopeners to others who are naive as I was for some time. I will not mention the names of the people for privacy reasons, and will just mention the first letters of their names, but if you feel that you are talking to one of the same people I mentioned in my story get in touch with me at : firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you their full names.
is our first character and he did not take his time. He had randomly added me on Skype and began speaking to me and when he asked me about my job he kept complimenting me and telling me that I very well educated. At that time, I did not realize that his main focus was on the average salary people made in m field, and not really my education. He had told me that he was an interior designer and that he was working from home until his boss prepared the offices. These were of course lies which he admitted to later. After a few days he told me that he liked me and that he had told his sister about me. At first, I was a bit suspicious because we had not known each other for even a week, but he kept telling me that I was well-educated and that he liked that a lot. Before he told me that he liked me, he had began telling me that we could get engaged in about 5 months when he was ready, and that was very random and odd because he brought it up without any previous mention of anything related to that subject between us.
He was in a hurry to get what he wanted, and it was only after the complete story unfolded until I finally understood why he was in such a rush. After a while, he told me that he could not commit yet because he had issues with his residency papers. He told me that his papers had expired a year ago and that his sponsor would not renew them and he could not find a new sponsor and such. He said that he had not studied interior design, but sculpting and he needed to change his job title on his residency card as he previously had it as engineer and to work as an engineer he needed to have a certificate from his university which proved that. He then also told me that he needed to pay for certificates from his university and they cost a lot because of the war taking place in his country and people would not do any paperwork unless they were bribed with large sums of money. He later on asked me for money and he kept changing the amount and it kept growing and the reasons he needed the money for kept changing.
He told me if I wanted us to get engaged, I would have to give him the money, and if I did not that would prove to him that I was selfish and did not care about him and he said he did not want to get married to a selfish person. He kept trying to make me feel guilty, and I told him that this was not my responsibility and he was better off borrowing the money from his relatives and friends. He said that they would not give him any money and he had already borrowed a lot. Not to mention that his brother worked in the same country and did not have any work problems and could have easily helped him. As he previously asked his sister to speak to me, so that I could be convinced that he was serious about our relationship, I contacted her and asked her why none of her family members were helping him. She told me that none of them were better off and they could not help him with such sums.
At the end, I took advice from a lot of friends, and they told me that if I gave him the money, he would take it and never speak to me again, and it was my choice if I wanted to be stupid enough to do that. He had his papers done in a few months after that and had found a job and another girl. The other girl shortly left him after she realized that he was a fake and was all talk. I was really about to send him money just to prove to him that he was a fake, but he already knew that and it would only be my loss, so he was not worth spending neither my time nor my money on. Not to mention, that he stopped calling me and always depended on me to call him, so the phone bills were enough money lost on a scammer.
Our next two gold-diggers have found a smart way to find their targets; LinkedIn. It is a perfect platform to find a professional male or female and through it they can find out their job title, education level, and years of experience and even where they currently work, so that is a perfect way to calculate their average income and get an idea about their socio-economic status; finding a person who can help finance them either through a short or long term relationship which of course depends on the intensity of their financial needs. These two young men come from my country, so whoever thinks that people from their country won't try to scam them, think again!
is our first LinkedIn character. He added me on LinkedIn and as soon as I accepted his request, he sent me a message with all his contact details. I ignored the message and so he sent another one shortly after which I ignored as well. He then took my contact information from my profile and decided to send me a message through Whatsapp at an odd time of the day. I responded to his message telling him that I did not know him and it was an odd time of the day for him to be contacting me. He told me that he was looking for people to work with him on projects and asked me what my field of study is (even though it is already clearly mentioned in my profile). He then said that he worked in a much different field as a computer engineer and so I would not be of any help in his projects, but we could get to know each other anyways.
I was interested in what he was trying to do because it seemed like he was professional at it and knew how to find what he was looking for after he told me that he wanted to get to know me better and that he was looking for a life partner. I then searched for him on Facebook and found an interesting post in which he had posted on a page advertising jobs. He had advertised jobs which were open to females in the administrative sector. The jobs were only open to Palestinian women who had a dual citizenship in America, Canada, or Europe. It also said that applicants with higher degrees were preferred and he had his personal e-mail for them to send their CVs to.
After reading this, I knew exactly why he had spoken to me, I have a higher degree, and live abroad and have a good job, and that was what he was looking for; a woman to get him out of the country and live a better lifestyle. I informed him that I knew why he was trying to talk to me and told him that if his previous endeavors had failed, they would not work on me. He said that he had posted it long ago and that he felt bad about it and forwarded all the CVs to NGOs and did not look at them (yeah right). He said that he was desperate at the time, but his conscious would not let him go through with it. I personally think that it was obvious what reasons it was posted for, and that nobody responded to him, for if he felt guilty about it, he would not be on LinkedIn doing the same exact thing right now. He tried to convince me that marriage is based on needs and favours, but I was not having any of it and told him I was not interested and to never contact me again.
A few months later when checking my Facebook spam inbox, I found a message from him cursing me and sending me obscene pictures. Again, no class at all, so before you think about feeling sorry for such a person who has told you they had a heart attack and need to get medical health care in an advanced country, think about yourself and value yourself over such a person who does not have the least amount of respect for you but sees you as an opportunity and nothing else.
is our last character for today. He also contacted me through LinkedIn and was working with a very well-known engineering company at that time. He began asking questions about what passport I held and so on, and told me that he wanted to get to know me. This was not a long time after the previous scammer on LinkedIn and I previously had a lot of other people bothering me on LinkedIn and using the site for dating rather than professional networking. Since I was already fed up, I called him and asked him what he wanted from me, he told me that he wanted my father's number to introduce himself and then to get to know me better for marriage. I told him that I did not even know him, but he tried to convince me that this is the way people meet and get to know each other. I told him I was not interested, and then he began telling me about a woman who liked whose family refused to let them get married for one reason or another. He kept talking about how he loved her, and then when he tried to ask for my father's number again, I told him I was not interested in a guy who was madly in love with another girl.
Later on he asked me for money as his company was going through financial problems and was not paying its employees their salaries. I told him that he should not ask me for money, and that he should ask someone he knew better from either his friends or relatives. He became defensive and said that I did not trust him and that the money he asked me for was not such a big sum anyways ($500 USD). I told him even though, that he should ask his family or close friends. He said that his brother worked in the country, and I told him that he brother should be the one helping him and not me. When I decided to leave my job, he told me not to leave my job and that he would marry me if I did not leave my job. I told him that I was not interested in his offer and I was leaving my job nevertheless.Note here, that he wanted me to keep the job to sustain finances and nothing else.
Anyways, Arab men tend to ask females for money by promising them marriage, and trust me you do not want to get married to such a dependent person who has no self-respect to ask you for money before you are in an official relationship. Stay away from such gold-diggers and do not fall for their scams. Even if they do end up marrying you, just imagine what a unhappy marriage that will be. And once your finances dry out, they will find someone else to suck it out of. Carry yourself high and do not job on every marriage opportunity especially by those who want you for financial reasons.
I am interested on hearing any stories from men who have been taken advantage of by women in the Arab world for their money!