We have not verified the ads on this website and we cannot guarantee their legitimacy.

Watch for scams especially when purchasing items, renting apartments, and applying for jobs.

WARNING: To prevent unauthorized use of your phone number, please do not provide the SMS activation code we send you to any third parties.

To avoid scams, please follow these rules :

  • ONLY DO BUSINESS WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE LOCAL.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS TO A FOREIGN BANK. Local authorities at your home or destination may not be able to help you.
  • FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON-BANKS WILL HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
  • EXPATRIATES.COM IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION.
  • NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (e.g.bank account number).
  • AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES.
  • DO NOT RENT HOUSING OR PURCHASE GOODS SIGHT-UNSEEN.
  • NEVER PAY ANY KIND OF FEE WHEN APPLYING FOR A JOB.

WARNING: Never wire funds by WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or other wire service to someone you do not know personally!

This includes sending money for:

  • Rental deposits
  • Loan fees
  • Job application or visa fees (No legitimate employer requires payment of any kind from a prospective employee)
  • Making a purchase

Please review these warnings from Western Union.

How to recognize a scam

  • Be wary of deals that are "too good to be true".
  • Anyone who asks for payment by Western Union or MoneyGram is a scammer. Sending or receiving payment by Western Union or MoneyGram is against our terms of use.
  • All offers to ship vehicles are scams.
  • Beware of anyone claiming to offer payment or escrow services from expatriates.com. Expatriates.com does not offer escrow services and is never involved in any payment transaction.
  • Watch for landlords/owners who are out of the country, travelling or cannot meet you personally.

Please become familiar with the scams described on this page. If you have any questions or would like to report suspicious activity please send an email to [email protected].

If you see a suspicious ad, please click on the "Prohibited" link at the bottom of the ad. If other people agree with you, the ad will be removed automatically.

Are you at risk to be scammed? Find out by taking this fraud test.

Check this site for the latest comprehensive list of scammer email addresses.

Prior complaints

If you believe you are a victim of fraud, please click here.


Cashier's Check and Western Union Scams

For Job Seekers:

Do not send payment to a prospective "employer" for any reason (e.g. visa or processing fees). A legitimate employer will not ask you for fees and you will lose any money you send.

Beware of any "job offers" that require you to act as a "payment intermediary." You will be asked to receive payments via cashier's check, keep some percentage as a "payment fee", and then to wire a lesser amount to a third-party. The cashier's check will be fake and you will lose the amount sent to the third-party.

For Buyers and Prospective Tenants:

A distant seller or owner asks for payment via Western Union or MoneyGram. After payment is sent using one of these services, the distant owner promises to send item or keys via Fed Ex, DHL or other delivery service however the items or keys never arrive.

The item or flat/apartment may seem to be "too good to be true"; the price is usually well below market value.

Never send payment via Western Union, MoneyGram or similar service to someone you do not know personally!

Do not use bank transfer to send money to a city other than your home or destination. For example, if you are from New York, traveling to Madrid, do not sent money to someone in Dublin, Ireland! If there is a problem, local authorities at home or at your destination will not be able to help you.

Please find below examples of Western Union scam messages sent to expatriates.com users.

For Sellers and Property Owners:

A distant buyer or prospective tenant sends a money order or cashier's checks that exceeds the actual price or rent.

The distant buyer or tenant requests that you forward the excess amount to a third party via Western Union, or MoneyGram. After initially accepting the check, your bank informs you several days later that the cashier's check is fake after you have wired funds to the third party.

This article by the Washington Post describes the fake Money Order scam.


4-1-9 Advance Fee Fraud
The perpetrators of Advance Fee Fraud (AFF), known internationally as "4-1-9" fraud after the section of the Nigerian penal code which addresses fraud schemes, are often very creative and innovative.

Claiming to be government officials, business people or the surviving spouses of former government leaders, con artists offer to transfer millions of dollars into your bank account in exchange for a small fee. If you respond to the initial offer, you may receive "official looking" documents. Typically, you are then asked to provide blank letterhead and your bank account numbers, as well as some money to cover transaction and transfer costs and attorney's fees.

A common misconception is that the victim's bank account is requested so the culprit can plunder it -- this is not the primary reason for the account request -- merely a signal they have hooked another victim.

For more information please read this advisory from the United States Federal Trade Commission.

If you receive such a message, please do the following:
- do not reply to the message!
- forward the message to their email provider at their "abuse" address (e.g. [email protected], [email protected] etc.). Ask their email provider to shutdown the account. The service provider may ask you to provide additional information such as "message headers."
- to our knowledge, authorities only take complaints from actual victims. Therefore, follow the previous step to have the scammer's email account shutdown.

Please find below examples of 4-1-9 Advanced Fee Fraud scam messages sent to expatriates.com users.


If you believe you are a victim of fraud...
If you are a victim of a scam, please do the following:
- For Western Union scams, contact Western Union immediately and ask them to stop payment. Send a complaint [email protected] and cc [email protected]
- send us all email correspondence between you and the perpetrator. For Western Union scams, please let us know in which city the scammer picked up the money.
- file a police report in city where you normally reside and where you believe the perpetrator resides.
- if the the money was sent to London, UK, you can file a report with the London Metropolitan Police.
- send us the police report case numbers. We cooperate with law enforcement agencies in such matters.
- file a complaint with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC). (The IFCC is normally for U.S. citizens.)


Examples of Western Union scam messages sent to expatriates.com users.

Good afternoon ,

Thank you for the confirmation for renting my flat. I agree the rent for the period of [BEGIN DATE] until [END DATE]
I will send the keys by FEDEX to by the 24th. I will get back with the trackingnumber.
Please inform me where i can fax you the signed agreement.
The building, elevator are in good conditions.
The flat is recently renovated.
I will coming over to [CITY] around the [DATE]. As i work with a spanish account i suggest to pay me the rent in cash when we meet up.
Can you confirm me the tracking of the deposit of the flat by a western Union or moneygram office, as a transaction between international accounts takes one week.

I informed by western union and they told me that you will need this required information to transfer the deposit to me personal:

MY FULL NAME: [SELLER NAME]
MY PASSPORT NUMBER: [PASSPORT NUMBER]
AMOUNT: [AMOUNT]
PLACE TO WIRE: [CITY]

For any question you have, reach me by phone or by mail.

Enjoy the rest of the sunday and have a nice arrival in [CITY]

Best greets

-----------------------------

Hi
thank you also for your quick reply.I have done some calculations and the weekly rate in UK pounds is ninety five pounds sterling "#95". Again as stated this price includes electricity,water,rubbish collection and sat tv.If you would like I can arrange for you to be collected from [CITY] airport on arrival and taken directly to my apartment (costs 20 euro payable to driver). Ok now that you,ve decided to book my apartment we will need to exchange keys,contract and payment.

The total cost in UK pounds is #760.Unfortunately due to new rules and regulations imposed here in [COUNTRY] on investment properties anywhere within the EU I am unable to take payment by
credit card directly. Payment should be made by Western Union money transfer and sent to my accountant: [NAME] for collection at Western Union in [CITY].
To send payment from [CITY] you should go to your local Western Union agent located at : [ADDRESS]

You simply fill out a form to send payment , after you send payment you will be issued with a 10-digit reference code , you then simply call or email this 10-digit reference code to me.

There will be a charge for sending by Western Union which you should deduct from the total amount you are sending as my accountant can re-claim this at the end of the tax year.

Ok thats it and I,ll hope to hear from you soon.
Kind Regards


Examples of 4-1-9 Advanced Fee Fraud messages sent to expatriates.com users.
FROM: Mr. John Kasrils

I am Mr. John Kasrils, the only son of late chief Robet Kasrils, from Sierra Leone my sources of your contact gave me the courage and confidence to rely on you. I am writing you in absolute confidence primarily to seek your assistance to claim our cash of Ninteen Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$19,800,000.00)) which was Deposited in a suspense account in a bank here in Abidjan called BANQUE INTERNATIONALE POUR LE COMMERCE ET L'INDUSTRIE DE LA COTE D'IVOIRE (BICICI) here in Abidjan.

Source of the money .My late father, Chief Robet Kasrils, a native of mende district in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone, was the General Manager of Sierra Leone mining co-operation (S.L.M.C.) Freetown, so this Fund was the income accrued from mining co-operation's over draft and minor sales. My father deposited the fund for the safe custody until after the war when he will join us. But my father including other top Government functionaries were attacked and killed by the rebels because of his relationship with the civilian Government of Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. As a result of my father death, the untimely deaths caused my mothers heart failure and other related complications of which she later died after we spent a lot of money on her.

I humbly solicit your assistance in the followings ways: I need you to use your humble position to represent our family to reclaim the funds and transfer it to your company's account or any account you will norminate for the funds so that you can invest the funds on our behalf because we can't do this ourselves. after the fund is transferred to your country, you make arrangement for me and my younger sister to come over to your country to further our education and to secure a resident permit for us in your country.

Please observe the utmost confidentiality of this transaction until we meet with you in your country to make a good arrangement for a joint business investment on our behalf in your country and you will be the caretaker of the investment as I and my sister will like to further our education in your country. Most importantly. The whole documents issued after deposit is in my custody, for your assistance. I beg to concede 30% of this money to you for your efforts and assistance.

To contact you is to believe you can do this business therefore I request you to respond to me as soon as you receive my mail but if you cannot participate please informs me so I make another plans.

Best regards.

Mr John Kasrils.