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William’s Story – Stranded Friend Begging Message Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Editor’s Note: This story was submitted by a Hoax-Slayer reader as a warning to other Internet users.  Names and other details have been changed to protect the privacy of the victim.


Unfortunately, I fell victim to a money scam. It was one of those scams that claim that a friend has lost all important passport documents and other forms of identification while traveling overseas and wants you to help him get out of the country.

In this case, the message was supposed to have come from a very good friend of mine and said that he was stranded in Berlin, Germany. This was a friend who I trusted not to lie to me so I sent him some money.

But the thing I found strange was that there was no way to send him the money other than via credit card. And then about a month later I found large bills on my credit card statement. I only sent about 100 Euro to help him, but my statement said that I had sent more than 5000 Euro.

Then I found out my friend had not sent the message at all. Coincidentally, my friend had happened to be out of country when the scam took place, although he was in France, not Germany.

I then realized what had happened and canceled my credit card but not before the scammers had made a further transaction of 8000 euro.

Note from the editor:
Regrettably, William’s experience is all too common. People all around the world fall victim to this type of scam everyday. You can read more information about such scam at the link below. 

Stranded Traveller Scams



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer