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I have met a girl online and wish to bring her to the USA. We have talked on the phone and via video chat. All documents are in order but they say she needs $3,000 (USD) in hand to travel.

Is this true?

marked as duplicate by JonathanReez Nov 3 '17 at 17:04

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    Adding 'scams' tag. – Gayot Fow Dec 24 '16 at 22:45
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    Please do not write in all CAPS, it is see as screaming and hard to read for most people. – Willeke Dec 24 '16 at 22:50
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    And this is yet another reason why I choose to remain perpetually single. – NZKshatriya Dec 25 '16 at 16:45
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    @NZKshatriya no problems with being married/engaged/haveing a girlfriend/boyfriend. A problem is with being stupid. Why would anyone believe a person whom you have met online and chatted for a few hours (most probably minutes)? What kind of special things do you (am an not talking about you, it is about a person who believes in this scam) possess so that a person would fall in love with you in a few minutes. Most probably none except of the potential to extract money. So no surprise that this special person will do this sooner or later. – Salvador Dali Dec 26 '16 at 1:29
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    Yes yes, we humans are equally scammy and equally scam-able, no matter the gender lol. – NZKshatriya Dec 26 '16 at 8:32
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I'm from Nigeria but live in the US now. This has scam written all over it. Do NOT send her a dime! All you need to travel is your ticket, passport, a visa, and maybe a few dollars.

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    You also need a visa, but that can't be helped by having cash from an unexplained source at hand. – o.m. Dec 25 '16 at 10:09
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    I used to have an entire folder devoted to nigerian scams..........had about 700 different emails, kept them mostly for laughs. Now my area for fun is dealing with the calls from india/pakistan saying "my name is *****, I am from Microsoft, I have been monitoring signals from your computer." I'm a Techie, Linux Pro certified......I end up getting them yelling/screaming/cussing at me.....its fun. – NZKshatriya Dec 26 '16 at 8:34
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No, this is a well-known scam. It is absolutely characteristic of this type of criminal fraud that the fraudster invents a series of reasons to send them money - usually by wire-transfer or similar means.

See also

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    Even if it wasn't a scam, it wouldn't work: sudden increases in funds on hand tend to make immigration officers suspicious. – Mark Dec 26 '16 at 4:46
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    If it is not a scam, you should be sending an affidavit of support - in which you make a legal commitment to sponsor the visa applicant's travel. – emory Dec 26 '16 at 16:07
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Aside from the obvious answer by RedGrittyBrick (‘this story just screams “scam” with every fibre’) there is a second reason why this cannot be true.

Immigration officers and visa approvers don’t just require visitors to have access to a certain amount of funds $x. They want to know

  • which funds you have
  • how you acquired them
  • what your ratio of income/spendings is
  • whether the entire story checks out

From a visa processing centre’s point of view, somebody saying ‘I can afford this trip, I have $3000 in cash’ is just as good as saying ‘please perform a thorough background check on me and my accounts, it is very likely that I got this money non-legitimately.’

There are a number of questions and answers on this site that relate to the topic and funds parking is one of the most-stated key words in that regard. Many visa applicants that see themselves as genuine travellers attempt to enhance their chances of visa approval by just parking a large amount of money in their account without explanation. And the standard answer by the visa processors is ‘We cannot be sure that you have access to those funds during your trip’ or some variation thereof (including rejecting the visa).

Arriving at the actual immigration check at your first port of entry to the United States with $3000 cash in hand is really just a variant of funds parking and will raise about 6000 red flags with the immigration officer. Thus, they will likely go back home with those $3000 unless they can prove it’s legitimately their’s (very hard) or the immigration officer can find a reason to confiscate the money (and still send them back).

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    I agree with everyone's assessment that this is a scam, but I do have to say I have had a contradicting experience, albeit 20 years ago. Whenever I would travel through Canada (e.g. from the lower 48 to Alaska, or mainland Alaska to Juneau) I had to show that I had enough funds to cover my expenses while in Canada. I remember finding it offensive that I had to have 100 CAD (or a credit card) to make the trip to Junau, which requires driving only 5 hours through Canada... Maybe it was the long hair... – Spacemoose Dec 27 '16 at 12:20

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