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The Milano Real Estate Scam

You are most likely aware of the Nigerian email scams where you get an email from some supposed financial minister or dictator who wants to get your bank account information so they can deposit some 20M that they have obtained from some oil transaction or military coup, where they trick you into giving them money or giving up your account information to process some illegal activity in exchange for a cut of the money.  Well there is a new scam out of italy and me and 3 close friends have had our doors knocked.

The new scam involves real estate and what happens is that someone calling from Milan wants to buy your property and will pay your asking amount (no matter how high it is) but there is a hitch.   You have to fly to Milan and meet with them.   Here they offer to buy your property but you have to swap 500 euro bills with that of smaller denominations before they buy your property.    In one case they said that the money comes from diamond sales.    My one colleague who did go to Milan said these people were Israeli and that mentioned a diamond money link.        The man I spoke to on the phone did not have an Italian accent but it could have been Israeli, Lebanese, Syrian or some other nearby mid east accent.   That doesn’t really matter.

We are not sure if the 500 Euro bills are counterfeit, even though they let you pass them through a bank counter, or if this is just simple money laundering.    There is no way of knowing for sure unless you proceed with the scam, and who knows if they even buy your property after you’ve done the exchange with them.

Post comments if you have had any such experiences

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