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 Soo.... is this a scam?

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sm_gal
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks. I'd be happy to update more if there are other details I can share safely.

It's really hard to foresee where this will go next (the whole thing has just gotten crazier and crazier every day). I'm really skeptical / doubting by nature, so anything that happens seems to make me raise my eyebrow.

But of course, it's a very scary thing to be Christian (or anything non-islam) over there. It's jail if you're lucky, being killed by your family is far more likely. So I kind of assume at some point that he will ask for help on how to leave, and I'm definitely not prepared for how to deal with that.
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Inspector Gadget
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If it does come to the point where he wants to leave, you'll be wary should he ask for financial help as suddenly he has access to no funds?

Whilst everything points to him being legit, possibly he is just being very patient.

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sm_gal
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah, that's occurred to me too. But he would literally have to be a brilliant, brilliant scammer. I've given him resources and connected him with organizations (that I found) that are now helping us / giving us ideas on what to do. There are organizations that are specifically dedicated to helping people in situations like his and keeping them safe.

Again, there are a lot of details here that I can't share, but I think the only way for this to be a set up at this point would have required him to be complicit in setting up several intricate websites / organizations with accomplices all over the world for the purposes of this scam, and have me magically stumble across those organizations in my search for resources to help him.
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wowwow
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi,
I would still be careful. One thing with scammers is that they prey on trust. This is why they 'tend' to approach older and particularly religious people, feeling that they would be more likely to be open to friendship.
A scammer can be as patient as a snake waiting for the right opportunity to strike.
You might not be up for testing this guy, but maybe mention that you are cutting off the relationship for whatever reason and then see how quickly he moves any scam on to the next level.
Sorry to be suspicious but for you to come here in the first place probably means that in your mind you are still unsure.

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sm_gal
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I appreciate your caution. Thanks. I will definitely be careful.

It's occurred to me though, that if this was a "cash for visa" type scam, Afghanistan is a really bad country to pick. Because the issuance of any visa will have to involve diplomatic pressure and for a foreign government to grant refugee status (which is why the organizations i mentioned exist in the first place). It's not really a country where you can just pay for a visa and be done with it.

That said, maybe he didn't know any of that, or he is betting i don't know any of that.

I guess time will tell!
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wowwow
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I was kinda betting my shirt that this guy is a scammer. But maybe you've actually found someone who is 100% legit (and risky free). It just shows you what damage 419 scammers can do, other than financial crime they are possibly stopping legitimate people getting help. A very interesting and enlightening tale so far.
If the guy had just wanted to become an atheist like myself he would have saved himself a hell of a lot of trouble.

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sm_gal
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
If the guy had just wanted to become an atheist like myself he would have saved himself a hell of a lot of trouble.


Eh, not really actually. What he hates the most is being forced by his family / community to practice a religion he doesn't believe, and living in terror of people finding out he doesn't agree with Islam. I think it's a lot more about the freedom to choose than it is about choosing Christianity, specifically.
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tazmanian
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Interesting story and like everyone else, I'm hoping it will have at least a partially happy ending.

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sm_gal
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Ok I have an update. I've been able to connect him with some very reputable NGOs who have in turn verified his identify and have investigated him enough that they were comfortable introducing him to other Christians in Afghanistan. Apparently, there is a whole network of underground churches there. These organizations have people they trust in the region that investigate new Christians in order to make sure they're sincere and their intent is good.

For pretty obvious reasons I'm not going to be able to post many more details, but I just wanted to update and thank you all again. It's been a fascinating and truly bizarre experience for me, and continues to be a really interesting dialogue with him.

Whether you're Christian, atheist or pastafarian, I hope that you will keep these people in your thoughts. I think we can all agree that no one deserves to be killed for what they believe or don't believe, and this underground network lives with that very real fear.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

sm_gal, you are a fantastic person for helping this man! I will keep him in my thoughts!

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sm_gal
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks! I appreciate that. Helping him has been quite rewarding.
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