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Old 15.06.2011, 09:47
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Western Union scam at SBB Bahnhof

Last week I was having a look at the exchange rates in Bern main station when a young guy approached me and asked (in german) if I know "Western Union". As I answered yes he started to explain that his girlfriend is stuck in Thailand and he needs to send her money. But as he already sent money, Western Union would refuse him any other transaction unless he shows a salary slip justifiying the origin of the money. He is of course student and does not have any salary slip. So he wanted me to send the money for him to his girlfriend in Thailand. I smirked and told him why he does not ask his friends to do that for him...of course they did not want because they disagree with him. I then politely told him that if even his friends wouldn't help him why should a stranger do and take the risk....it's probably drug money after all and walked away.

Did that ever happen to you? Or was it a genuine request?
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Old 15.06.2011, 09:49
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Re: Western Union scam at SBB Bahnhof

He could have sent it via the Post Office IMO.
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Old 15.06.2011, 09:53
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Re: Western Union scam at SBB Bahnhof

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Last week I was having a look at the exchange rates in Bern main station when a young guy approached me and asked (in german) if I know "Western Union". As I answered yes he started to explain that his girlfriend is stuck in Thailand and he needs to send her money. But as he already sent money, Western Union would refuse him any other transaction unless he shows a salary slip justifiying the origin of the money. He is of course student and does not have any salary slip. So he wanted me to send the money for him to his girlfriend in Thailand. I smirked and told him why he does not ask his friends to do that for him...of course they did not want because they disagree with him. I then politely told him that if even his friends wouldn't help him why should a stranger do and take the risk....it's probably drug money after all and walked away.

Did that ever happen to you? Or was it a genuine request?
The max is chf5000 through western union and then they want to see yr passport etc maybe he was moving some black money around .
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Old 15.06.2011, 09:54
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Re: Western Union scam at SBB Bahnhof

Do they limit you when you go to the bahnhof? I know they do it online but as far as I know, If you do it with SBB it's fair game to send. Unless of course you are sending like 10K per transfer.
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Old 15.06.2011, 09:54
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Re: Western Union scam at SBB Bahnhof

Out of curiosity, was he speaking high German or Swiss German?
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Old 15.06.2011, 09:58
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Re: Western Union scam at SBB Bahnhof

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Out of curiosity, was he speaking high German or Swiss German?
He was speaking swiss-german. Looked young: 20-25 maximum.
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Old 15.06.2011, 10:03
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Re: Western Union scam at SBB Bahnhof

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He was speaking swiss-german. Looked young: 20-25 maximum.
Then if he were in real trouble, he'd have family to help him.
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Old 15.06.2011, 11:00
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Re: Western Union scam at SBB Bahnhof

This is definitely something to be suspicious. Most of normal people will resort to their family and friends to move such money. Who in his/her right mind will ask a total stranger? Only someone that does not want to be traced.
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Old 15.06.2011, 11:14
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Re: Western Union scam at SBB Bahnhof

there could have been a nice slice of the cake for you but then again not everyone is as corrupt as me
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Old 15.06.2011, 12:35
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Re: Western Union scam at SBB Bahnhof

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This is definitely something to be suspicious. Most of normal people will resort to their family and friends to move such money. Who in his/her right mind will ask a total stranger? Only someone that does not want to be traced.
You don't need to even think this far. When I hear "Western Union" all alarm bells are on. If you happen to come from a really poor country and your parents don't even have a bank account, it is great that this service exists... but there are cheaper and faster ways to send money to a country like Thailand. For example a bank. Any bank. They have them there as well and they work fine. So if somebody is choosing a service provider like western union despite it being way more expensive, he wants to leave no/less paper trail. Asking a stranger to do the transaction for him even more gives that impression. Why are you so worried about privacy if you send money to a girlfriend?

If it was an old Swiss guy and the "girlfriend" is the type that you rent for the weeks you are in Pattaya, I would get it: no paper trail for the wife. But a young student?
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