I've been told by a girl supposedly from New York I met online, who currently is working in Ghana, that she requires police and medical reports to return to the US.

Is this true? The cost was quoted at $570.

  • 58
    I think you're being taken for a ride. US citizen cannot be prevented from returning to the United States.
    – Karlson
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 3:48
  • 26
    Yeah, that might sound like a scam. Did she ask you to help her with the payment?
    – Kuba
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 3:49
  • 56
    "I've been told by a girl from New York I met online ... from _____ that they need ______ money for _____ expenses to travel to meet me." this almost always is the start of a scam. There is no such thing as a "verified citizen" - what is she, like more authentic than other citizens?! Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 5:48
  • 41
    There is no might here, it is 100% a scam, RUN!
    – Idos
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 6:58
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 18:58

3 Answers 3


First off I believe you are being scammed. Being Ghanaian and American, having had extensive interactions with the American Embassy in Accra, and having lived in Ghana for decades, I have some knowledge on how these scam artists operate and it smells like a fish and stinks to the high heavens once money is being demanded from you either subtly or directly.

Now it is possible that the airline which will transport the said citizen is requesting medical clearance before it does so, perhaps because of some contagious self reported disease like tuberculosis or like during the Ebola outbreak a three years ago.

There are many documented incidences of US citizens being deported from the USA or being denied entry into the USA, however this is in cases where their citizenship is in dispute. Once confirmed though, USA immigration law gives all citizens the right to enter.

The Fifth Circuit in William Worthy, Jr. v. US, 328 F.2d 386 (5th Cir. 1964):

We think it is inherent in the concept of citizenship that the citizen, when absent from the country to which he owes allegiance, has a right to return, again to set foot on its soil.

US government can also put a suspected terrorist on a no-fly list such that although citizens have the right to return to the USA at any time, any airline would not allow them to board. In such a scenario it is not a police certificate which is going to clear them.


The Congress provided the President of the United States, in section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), with the authority to suspend the entry of any class of aliens the president deems detrimental to the national interest. This authority has been exercised by nearly every president since President Carter, and has been a component of immigration laws since the enactment of the INA in 1952

However despite all these disclaimers, I can say with an extremely high degree of confidence that you are being scammed. It may be that he/she is the scammer, or that she/he is in league with the scammer, or that she is ignorant and being scammed herself although the chances are much higher for #1 & #2. There are ways to test to detect whether you are dealing with a scammer however I believe stackexchange is not the place for such. Do a simple Google research and you will get good information.


No, just no. A US citizen can enter US and that's it. They can be quarantined in extraordinary circumstances, but not be refused entry no matter what

  • 12
    Any links or evidence for this?
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 6:22

Sounds like a romance scam (the setup described by the OP is very similar to the point of being indistinguishable from Nigerian scam, 419 Scam)

  • 11
    As per the help center, please quote the relevant sections from your link, in case the link ever expires
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 6:22
  • 12
    This is completely different from a 419 scam. 419 scams are the ones where the scammer wants you to look after a large amount of money for them and offers you a share of it in return; this scam is just a straight-up request to send money. Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 9:34
  • 2
    @DavidRicherby while this may be distinct from the advance fee fraud scam, it's not completely different. Both scams, for example, begin with an implausible request for help from a stranger. Both are frequently associated with Anglophone West African countries such as Ghana and Nigeria. Both offer a purported reward in return for the "investment"; in one case it is money, and in the other it is love.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 13:54
  • 6
    @phoog I'm not going to get into an argument about how different things have to be to justify the use of "completely different". The point is that the answer claims says that romance scams are also known as 419 scams and this is not correct. Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 13:59
  • 2
    @DavidRicherby Whether the term 419 scam properly applies to a lonely heart scam or not, I note that the relevant section of the Nigerian criminal code in fact does apply, since it criminalizes fraud generally.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 14:15

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