Author Topic: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members  (Read 177406 times)

Malcat

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #500 on: June 05, 2021, 05:06:31 PM »
@clarkfan1979, we would love an update on your dinar-loving brother too. I'm kind of curious why he thinks the value will be going up so drastically?

This is a thing that pops up now and then, I've been hearing about it for years. I don't know where it comes from, but every once in awhile I'll talk to some moron who thinks they're going to end up rich because of it.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #501 on: June 05, 2021, 07:03:24 PM »
@clarkfan1979, we would love an update on your dinar-loving brother too. I'm kind of curious why he thinks the value will be going up so drastically?

This is a thing that pops up now and then, I've been hearing about it for years. I don't know where it comes from, but every once in awhile I'll talk to some moron who thinks they're going to end up rich because of it.

I bought $200 worth of Iraqi Dinar in 2004 when I was deployed over there - about 250,000 IQD. Today it's worth about the same, maybe a bit less. It's a neat thing to show my kids but as an "investment" it's worthless.

BicycleB

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #502 on: June 06, 2021, 07:52:49 AM »
@clarkfan1979, we would love an update on your dinar-loving brother too. I'm kind of curious why he thinks the value will be going up so drastically?

This is a thing that pops up now and then, I've been hearing about it for years. I don't know where it comes from, but every once in awhile I'll talk to some moron who thinks they're going to end up rich because of it.

I bought $200 worth of Iraqi Dinar in 2004 when I was deployed over there - about 250,000 IQD. Today it's worth about the same, maybe a bit less. It's a neat thing to show my kids but as an "investment" it's worthless.

Maybe you should tell them it's the 2004 version of crypto

clarkfan1979

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #503 on: June 12, 2021, 01:22:51 AM »
@clarkfan1979, we would love an update on your dinar-loving brother too. I'm kind of curious why he thinks the value will be going up so drastically?

I might be able go provide an update in about 3 weeks. It's my step-dad's 70th birthday party and we will be hanging out and playing golf. He hasn't spoke about the Dinar in over a year. I've been trying to discourage it. I guess I have succeeded.

He has spoke about cryptocurrency. I think he is buying fake crypto that is worth nothing. He has been trying to convince my step-sister who is a realtor to let him make offers on houses in crypto. She has suggested that he sell the crypto for US currency and then make an offer in US currency. He has some sort of excuse on why it can't be exchanged for real money.

In other money matters, they sold his wife's house in January of 2020 and bought an RV. They successfully traded an appreciating asset for a depreciating asset. According to zillow, over the past 18 months, the neighborhood has appreciated by 24%. They had a mortgage, so this was leveraged money. They bought their used RV for 60K. I'm guessing it's worth 55K now?

AMandM

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #504 on: June 14, 2021, 10:58:44 AM »
He has spoke about cryptocurrency. I think he is buying fake crypto that is worth nothing. He has been trying to convince my step-sister who is a realtor to let him make offers on houses in crypto. She has suggested that he sell the crypto for US currency and then make an offer in US currency. He has some sort of excuse on why it can't be exchanged for real money.

But a house seller should be happy to exchange it for real house. Uh huh.

AlanStache

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #505 on: June 14, 2021, 11:15:36 AM »
He has spoke about cryptocurrency. I think he is buying fake crypto that is worth nothing. He has been trying to convince my step-sister who is a realtor to let him make offers on houses in crypto. She has suggested that he sell the crypto for US currency and then make an offer in US currency. He has some sort of excuse on why it can't be exchanged for real money.

But a house seller should be happy to exchange it for real house. Uh huh.

Selling the crypto may require taxes be paid but trading it for something else (ie a house) may not require taxes.  No clue if this is the thought process or if its even remotely inline with the law/IRS rules (would assume not).  Or maybe the crypto is actually an ownership stake in something else that cant be sold or easily equated to dollars but that someone else might want to exchange a house for ...?

PDXTabs

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #506 on: June 15, 2021, 09:19:42 AM »
He has spoke about cryptocurrency. I think he is buying fake crypto that is worth nothing. He has been trying to convince my step-sister who is a realtor to let him make offers on houses in crypto. She has suggested that he sell the crypto for US currency and then make an offer in US currency. He has some sort of excuse on why it can't be exchanged for real money.

But a house seller should be happy to exchange it for real house. Uh huh.

Selling the crypto may require taxes be paid but trading it for something else (ie a house) may not require taxes.  No clue if this is the thought process or if its even remotely inline with the law/IRS rules (would assume not).  Or maybe the crypto is actually an ownership stake in something else that cant be sold or easily equated to dollars but that someone else might want to exchange a house for ...?

Trading your crypto (or gold) for a house is definitely a taxable event as far as the IRS is concerned. That's actually one of the problems with crypto "currency."  Every purchase you make is actually a taxable event.

clarkfan1979

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #507 on: June 30, 2021, 08:08:07 AM »
My mom and brother are both withdrawing $9,200 from the bank today for some sort of "investment" Hopefully I find out more about it before we leave town in a few days.

I'm confused why they need to withdrawn the money from the bank. Don't you normally do an electronic transfer from your bank?

oldladystache

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #508 on: June 30, 2021, 10:16:42 AM »
An electronic transfer can be traced.

Zamboni

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #509 on: June 30, 2021, 08:14:03 PM »
^lol, indeed.

$9,200 is such a specific number. Hmmm. Now I'm intrigued.

Gronnie

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #510 on: July 01, 2021, 01:38:42 PM »
At least they have $9200 to withdraw.... the average person can't come up with $500 even when it's an emergency.

PDXTabs

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #511 on: July 01, 2021, 02:24:56 PM »
At least they have $9200 to withdraw.... the average person can't come up with $500 even when it's an emergency.

Well, sort of. The best data came from the Fed (in 2015) and says that:

To determine individuals’ preparedness for a smallerscale financial disruption, respondents are asked how they would pay for a hypothetical emergency expense that would cost $400. Just over half (54 percent) report that they could fairly easily handle such an expense, paying for it entirely using cash, money currently in their checking/savings account, or on a credit card that they would pay in full at their next statement (collectively referred to here as “cash or its functional equivalent”). The remaining 46 percent indicate that such an expense would be more challenging to handle and that they either could not pay the expense or would borrow or sell something to do so.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/2015-report-economic-well-being-us-households-201605.pdf

clarkfan1979

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #512 on: July 05, 2021, 08:02:54 PM »
I left the house 2 days ago and never got a reason for the $9200 withdrawal. Sorry for the cliffhanger.

brooklynmoney

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #513 on: July 05, 2021, 09:26:41 PM »
$9200 sounds conveniently close to but under the 10k transaction limit beyond which your transaction gets flagged to the feds.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #514 on: July 06, 2021, 05:28:46 PM »
$9200 sounds conveniently close to but under the 10k transaction limit beyond which your transaction gets flagged to the feds.
That's exactly the thought I had!

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #515 on: July 12, 2021, 01:09:56 AM »
@clarkfan1979, we would love an update on your dinar-loving brother too. I'm kind of curious why he thinks the value will be going up so drastically?

This is a thing that pops up now and then, I've been hearing about it for years. I don't know where it comes from, but every once in awhile I'll talk to some moron who thinks they're going to end up rich because of it.

I read this @clarkfan1979 , and then I read about the $9,200.  So now I need to give you a caution here.

So, this sounds remarkably like the Philippines "gold" finding scam (example) that pops up occasionally, as well as various other scams. 

I was going to say--before I read the posts about the $9,200--that you should be careful because there may be some "broker" involved and they may be doing cash transactions or the like, figuring out unconventional ways to wire money, or so on.  You have now confirmed (via the $9,200) even further that it sure sounds like that sort of transaction.   

Literally: this is setting off all of the red flags.  Your relatives won't want to hear it, so I don't know whether you tell them, but this sounds like an obvious scam.

And, to confirm: it's a known scam.  I searched for "gold" on reddit.com/r/scams to see if the Philippine one I've run into repeatedly pops up there, and it did, but, more interestingly, I then searched "dinar" and guess what's a known scam?  Selling "dinar" as an investment.  It had all the hallmarks of a scam already, from your description, and it turns out that a search for "dinar" shows you that people have tried this exact type of scam before.  (Here's a particularly far-out version.)

Pro tip: one can buy options and cover those options for currencies if you want to bet on them--one does not need to withdraw $9,200 to shuffle it to some weird place to do that.  That's what scammers do.  There are no actual dinar involved; it's a straight-up scam.  It'll turn on some friend-of-a-friend or random broker guy who's actually making off with all of the money (or at least a finder's fee). 

So, your family is getting scammed.  But like a religion, they are unlikely to take it well if told, because they have $9,200+ reasons to want to disbelieve you.  That doesn't mean you keep it to yourself, but it's a caution because I've had to deliver similarly bad news before and even with a good approach, it usually lands like a rock with someone who has already bought into it.  (See also: MLMs, and that never-ending thread about them.) 

Anyhow, I hate to tell you that, @clarkfan1979 , but I also don't think that's any surprise to you. 
« Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 03:52:56 PM by Finances_With_Purpose »

partgypsy

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #516 on: July 12, 2021, 06:13:41 AM »
@clarkfan1979, we would love an update on your dinar-loving brother too. I'm kind of curious why he thinks the value will be going up so drastically?

This is a thing that pops up now and then, I've been hearing about it for years. I don't know where it comes from, but every once in awhile I'll talk to some moron who thinks they're going to end up rich because of it.

I read this @clarkfan1979 , and then I read about the $9,200.  So now I need to give you a caution here.

So, this sounds remarkably like the Philippines "gold" finding scam (example) that pops up occasionally, as well as various other scams. 

I was going to say--before I read the posts about the $9,200--that you should be careful because there may be some "broker" involved and they may be doing cash transactions or the like, figuring out unconventional ways to wire money, or so on.  You have now confirmed (via the $9,200) even further that it sure sounds like that sort of transaction.   

Literally: this is setting off all of the red flags.  Your relatives won't want to hear it, so I don't know whether you tell them, but this sounds like an obvious scam.

And, to confirm: it's a known scam.  I searched for "gold" on reddit.com/r/scams to see if the Philippine one I've run into repeatedly pops up there, and it did, but, more interestingly, I then searched "dinar" and guess what's a known scam?  Selling "dinar" as an investment.  It had all the hallmarks of a scam already, from your description, and it turns out that a search for "dinar" shows you that people have tried this exact type of scam before.  (Here's a particularly far-out version.)

Pro tip: one can buy options and cover those options for currencies if you want to bet on them--one does not need to withdrawn $9,200 to shuffle it to some weird place to do that.  That's what scammers do.  There are no actual dinar involved; it's a straight-up scam.  It'll turn on some friend-of-a-friend or random broker guy who's actually making off with all of the money (or at least a finder's fee). 

So, your family is getting scammed.  But like a religion, they are unlikely to take it well if told, because they have $9,200+ reasons to want to disbelieve you.  That doesn't mean you keep it to yourself, but it's a caution because I've had to deliver similarly bad news before and even with a good approach, it usually lands like a rock with someone who has already bought into it.  (See also: MLMs, and that never-ending thread about them.) 

Anyhow, I hate to tell you that, @clarkfan1979 , but I also don't think that's any surprise to you.

I would bet hard cash your family is getting scammed. Is there anyone they trust you can get them to talk to about this? Pastor, financial advisor, another family member?

clarkfan1979

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #517 on: July 13, 2021, 09:22:51 AM »
@clarkfan1979, we would love an update on your dinar-loving brother too. I'm kind of curious why he thinks the value will be going up so drastically?

This is a thing that pops up now and then, I've been hearing about it for years. I don't know where it comes from, but every once in awhile I'll talk to some moron who thinks they're going to end up rich because of it.

I read this @clarkfan1979 , and then I read about the $9,200.  So now I need to give you a caution here.

So, this sounds remarkably like the Philippines "gold" finding scam (example) that pops up occasionally, as well as various other scams. 

I was going to say--before I read the posts about the $9,200--that you should be careful because there may be some "broker" involved and they may be doing cash transactions or the like, figuring out unconventional ways to wire money, or so on.  You have now confirmed (via the $9,200) even further that it sure sounds like that sort of transaction.   

Literally: this is setting off all of the red flags.  Your relatives won't want to hear it, so I don't know whether you tell them, but this sounds like an obvious scam.

And, to confirm: it's a known scam.  I searched for "gold" on reddit.com/r/scams to see if the Philippine one I've run into repeatedly pops up there, and it did, but, more interestingly, I then searched "dinar" and guess what's a known scam?  Selling "dinar" as an investment.  It had all the hallmarks of a scam already, from your description, and it turns out that a search for "dinar" shows you that people have tried this exact type of scam before.  (Here's a particularly far-out version.)

Pro tip: one can buy options and cover those options for currencies if you want to bet on them--one does not need to withdraw $9,200 to shuffle it to some weird place to do that.  That's what scammers do.  There are no actual dinar involved; it's a straight-up scam.  It'll turn on some friend-of-a-friend or random broker guy who's actually making off with all of the money (or at least a finder's fee). 

So, your family is getting scammed.  But like a religion, they are unlikely to take it well if told, because they have $9,200+ reasons to want to disbelieve you.  That doesn't mean you keep it to yourself, but it's a caution because I've had to deliver similarly bad news before and even with a good approach, it usually lands like a rock with someone who has already bought into it.  (See also: MLMs, and that never-ending thread about them.) 

Anyhow, I hate to tell you that, @clarkfan1979 , but I also don't think that's any surprise to you.

I'm not surprised. This has always been my best guess. They have been getting scammed for 4-5 years and continue to believe. It's not possible for an outsider to change their minds, which includes me.

I do have one last nuggest from my trip. I went golfing with my brother and his friends. His friend told me that he won $1,000 off of my brother from the last Presidental election. He had to tell me about it because it was no ordinary bet.

Well, it started off as an ordinary bet. Friend had Biden and my brother had Trump for $50. No big deal. However, one week after the election was certified my brother claimed that there was no way Biden was going to be sworn in as President. His friend would comment that it's pretty much a done deal. My brother then asked to increase the bet to any amount that he felt comfortable. Feeling pretty confident about the results, one week after being certified, the friend said, "$1,000". My brother response was, "done"

They both sent $1,000 to another friend to hold the money and be released on inauguration day. On inauguration day, my brother lost the bet and the friend got his $1,000.

Anything is possible, but if I'm making that bet, I'm going to want 10,000 to 1 odds. To make that bet with even odds is incredibly misguided, in my opinion. I could chose other words, but he is my brother and overall, a decent guy. 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 09:24:58 AM by clarkfan1979 »

BicycleB

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #518 on: July 13, 2021, 04:10:38 PM »
Wow!

Zamboni

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #519 on: July 13, 2021, 07:46:43 PM »
^^Sounds like your family just really, really, really don't want to hang onto that money they have earned. One way or another, they are going to give it to someone else for nothing.

A weird affliction, and we are glad you didn't inherit that gene!

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #520 on: July 15, 2021, 03:59:49 PM »
Please forward me his name and cell number for...a survey.  Yeah.  That's it.

Kidding.  All joking aside: I'm sorry.  It's painful to watch someone literally light money on fire like that. 

clarkfan1979

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #521 on: July 18, 2021, 02:11:10 PM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious stones.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 03:26:00 PM by clarkfan1979 »

SunnyDays

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #522 on: July 18, 2021, 02:59:20 PM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious metals.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Yikes, that could be a drug deal.  Hollowed out "gold" bars, maybe.  You might want to give him a heads up on that.

clarkfan1979

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #523 on: July 18, 2021, 03:27:52 PM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious metals.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Yikes, that could be a drug deal.  Hollowed out "gold" bars, maybe.  You might want to give him a heads up on that.

I originally posted, "precious metals". However, it's "precious stones" Sorry for any confusion.

I'm not going to say anything. He has been doing stuff like this for the past 4-5 years. If I try to give unsolicited advice, it doesn't go well.

Malcat

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #524 on: July 18, 2021, 04:36:29 PM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious metals.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Yikes, that could be a drug deal.  Hollowed out "gold" bars, maybe.  You might want to give him a heads up on that.

I originally posted, "precious metals". However, it's "precious stones" Sorry for any confusion.

I'm not going to say anything. He has been doing stuff like this for the past 4-5 years. If I try to give unsolicited advice, it doesn't go well.

Super weird.

Sibley

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #525 on: July 18, 2021, 07:44:14 PM »
Isn't there a market for underground diamonds? aka, blood diamonds?

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #526 on: July 18, 2021, 11:16:28 PM »
I'm fairly sure I saw a whole episode somewhere (Dateline?) on it being a known hub for money laundering via gold. 

I didn't see it immediately via google, but I'm pretty sure this is related:
https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/us-gold-refinery-pleads-guilty-charge-failure-maintain-adequate-anti-money-laundering
https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/four-peruvian-members-multi-billion-dollar-international-gold-money-laundering-scheme

You buy/sell gold without verify source/ID, which then launders money for the cartels. 

It's worse than a scam, as it can land one in prison for participating.  And you probably don't want to be in business with the kind of folks who have so much dirty cash that laundering it through gold makes sense. 

Anyone who's paying him much to go and get precious metals is into something shady.  All you need for that is a decent security guy(s). 

You're past the "give advice" point, I'd say, and on to the "build some safe boundaries around this person/your family" to protect you and your loved ones from him so that he doesn't involve you or take you down with him. 

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #527 on: July 18, 2021, 11:21:51 PM »
Isn't there a market for underground diamonds? aka, blood diamonds?

The "scam" here appears to be money laundering.  Shell companies "buy" gold from this great new mine in [Peru/insert Central American drug country] without any authentication/paperwork, so it now looks legitimate.  In turn, that gold is then sold on the US market, but it was really just gold sourced by purchasing it either locally or internationally with dirty (drug) money.  The shell company just bought it from another shell company abroad to give the whole thing the appearance of legitimacy (i.e. to "launder" it), particularly for tax/spending purposes in the USA.

It works something like that, anyhow. 

Which is all great until bro ends up indicted in a federal court. 

Zamboni

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #528 on: July 19, 2021, 12:22:30 AM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious metals.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Yikes, that could be a drug deal.  Hollowed out "gold" bars, maybe.  You might want to give him a heads up on that.

I originally posted, "precious metals". However, it's "precious stones" Sorry for any confusion.

I'm not going to say anything. He has been doing stuff like this for the past 4-5 years. If I try to give unsolicited advice, it doesn't go well.

You don't have to give advice, but I think it's okay to ask him lots of questions. Along the lines of "I love you, brother, and I'm really curious how all of this works." Then you could maybe ask things like:

How long have you been interested in the diamond trade?
My friend went to gemology school . . . do you think this is a career path for you?
I'm just curious, how did someone find out about this opportunity?
How long have you known these folks?
Wow, congrats! Do you think there is a catch?

Even asking questions might make him mad, though, I acknowledge that. You can always just go with "It just seems too good to be true, which weirds me out, man, and I love you. You're smart, so I'm sure you will figure it out, and sorry for all my questions."

six-car-habit

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #529 on: July 19, 2021, 12:27:40 AM »
I have been in another country, where i was approached by a person on the beach with a nice inlaid wooden box, and inside were various colored and shaped " family jewels" that the unfortunate owner had to sell.

The seller then shows a stone that they claim is fake, and prove it to you by crushing the stone [glass?], gaining  your trust.  But when the real "family jewels" are put to the crush test, they stay intact and beautiful !!   The opportunity to buy is fleeting, the seller doesn't want to deal with the local jeweler, and hopefully you'll recognize the windfall you've stumbled into...

 Perhaps your brother will be walking the beaches of Miami, bothering tourists with a similar fine wooden box holding precious gems....

AlanStache

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #530 on: July 19, 2021, 08:01:10 AM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious stones.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Ask if you can invest in his trip, cover his travel and get back a cut of his profit.  This approach might reveal if he feels its safe enough to involve family?

Sibley

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #531 on: July 19, 2021, 08:04:49 AM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious stones.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Ask if you can invest in his trip, cover his travel and get back a cut of his profit.  This approach might reveal if he feels its safe enough to involve family?

Yeah.... no. Not unless OP wants to risk getting caught up in a federal indictment. If it is laundering money in some way, you REALLY don't want to get involved.

Malcat

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #532 on: July 19, 2021, 09:13:29 AM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious stones.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Ask if you can invest in his trip, cover his travel and get back a cut of his profit.  This approach might reveal if he feels its safe enough to involve family?

Ask to get involved in the likely very illegal thing that the brother is involved in that he very possibly doesn't realize is very illegal???

How is that a good idea?

AlanStache

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #533 on: July 19, 2021, 11:19:51 AM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious stones.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Ask if you can invest in his trip, cover his travel and get back a cut of his profit.  This approach might reveal if he feels its safe enough to involve family?

Ask to get involved in the likely very illegal thing that the brother is involved in that he very possibly doesn't realize is very illegal???

How is that a good idea?

I did not say to get involved but if there is a way to ask without a "paper" trail it might reveal his understanding of the risk/legality of the endeavor.  He may not know it is illegal but may know it involves shady characters the he would not want his brother involved with. 

Or not, and I will move back to my swim lane :-p

Malcat

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #534 on: July 19, 2021, 11:28:04 AM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious stones.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Ask if you can invest in his trip, cover his travel and get back a cut of his profit.  This approach might reveal if he feels its safe enough to involve family?

Ask to get involved in the likely very illegal thing that the brother is involved in that he very possibly doesn't realize is very illegal???

How is that a good idea?

I did not say to get involved but if there is a way to ask without a "paper" trail it might reveal his understanding of the risk/legality of the endeavor.  He may not know it is illegal but may know it involves shady characters the he would not want his brother involved with. 

Or not, and I will move back to my swim lane :-p

Ahh, I thought you were actually suggesting getting involved. I was so confused, but looking back I now see what you meant.

AlanStache

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #535 on: July 19, 2021, 11:47:21 AM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious stones.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Ask if you can invest in his trip, cover his travel and get back a cut of his profit.  This approach might reveal if he feels its safe enough to involve family?

Ask to get involved in the likely very illegal thing that the brother is involved in that he very possibly doesn't realize is very illegal???

How is that a good idea?

I did not say to get involved but if there is a way to ask without a "paper" trail it might reveal his understanding of the risk/legality of the endeavor.  He may not know it is illegal but may know it involves shady characters the he would not want his brother involved with. 

Or not, and I will move back to my swim lane :-p

Ahh, I thought you were actually suggesting getting involved. I was so confused, but looking back I now see what you meant.

I am but a lowly padawan in the ways of words.

BicycleB

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #536 on: July 19, 2021, 12:28:01 PM »
@clarkfan1979, best wishes for the safety of your extended family.

I very much hope you stay out of their adventure unless they ask you for bail money and maybe a lawyer. I have lined up a lawyer referral before for a friend just in case, which they later appreciated, and it might be a good idea here. More difficult of course if you don't know the jurisdiction. If they mention what city they're going to, maybe you can prepare.

For me that feels better than "I can't do anything." YMMV!

« Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 02:42:15 PM by BicycleB »

Zamboni

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #537 on: July 19, 2021, 09:59:07 PM »
Every time I hear about these types of shenanigans, it reminds me of this guy:
https://www.wral.com/former-unc-ch-professor-duped-by-drug-cartel-says-phony-evidence-used-to-convict-fire-him/17112103/

And the fake gemstones scam is absolutely a thing even if it isn't for laundering drug money. Just go on a trip to Mexico and see how many little jewelry stores there are in the towns surrounding resort areas . . . all claiming to have legitimate, natural stones for a tiny fraction of what you would pay anywhere else in the world.

Malcat

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #538 on: July 19, 2021, 10:58:33 PM »
Every time I hear about these types of shenanigans, it reminds me of this guy:
https://www.wral.com/former-unc-ch-professor-duped-by-drug-cartel-says-phony-evidence-used-to-convict-fire-him/17112103/

And the fake gemstones scam is absolutely a thing even if it isn't for laundering drug money. Just go on a trip to Mexico and see how many little jewelry stores there are in the towns surrounding resort areas . . . all claiming to have legitimate, natural stones for a tiny fraction of what you would pay anywhere else in the world.

I had the opposite experience in a tourist town in Mexico. The prices at the stores were so outrageously high, it was fucking unbelievable. I had never been before, so thought I might be able to find some good jewelry deals because I still wore it back then.

I know my jewelry, so when I tried on a ruby and diamond pendent set in silver, I just about spit out my drink when the guy showed me the price was $11,000 USD, but he would give it to me for $7000. It was worth $2000 max, absolute, high end retail, bought at a boutique in an expensive hotel where the prices are gross, MAX. Probably closer to $1000 from one of my old no-nonsense, no-frills Montreal jewelers.

It was the same at all the stores. I started really enjoying my shopping experience because it was fun to see just how absurd the prices were for the rich, stupid tourists. Same with the spas that tried to sell me $700 in skin creams by literally dragging me off the street and slathering goo on my hands.

It was wild, literally not a single vendor for a 20 block stretch had a reasonable price. This was a commercial Street right behind all of the crazy expensive resorts in an area where leaving that one, heavily guarded strip wasn't safe. So I guess the vendors had a literally captive audience of rich, bored tourists willing to part with huge sums of money.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #539 on: July 21, 2021, 05:15:54 PM »
My brother is going to be in Miami for a business opportunity for 1-2 months. It involves transporting precious stones.

That is all I know. Anyone have any idea on what scam this is?

Ask if you can invest in his trip, cover his travel and get back a cut of his profit.  This approach might reveal if he feels its safe enough to involve family?

Ask to get involved in the likely very illegal thing that the brother is involved in that he very possibly doesn't realize is very illegal???

How is that a good idea?

I did not say to get involved but if there is a way to ask without a "paper" trail it might reveal his understanding of the risk/legality of the endeavor.  He may not know it is illegal but may know it involves shady characters the he would not want his brother involved with. 

Or not, and I will move back to my swim lane :-p

Ahh, I thought you were actually suggesting getting involved. I was so confused, but looking back I now see what you meant.

I am but a lowly padawan in the ways of words.

I don't normally break with my character here, but in this case: you mean the absolute best, @AlanStache , but this "business" deal is more like radioactive waste.  You don't touch it.  You don't get near it.  You don't want to be in the same location that it is.  Because it's going to hurt everything around it--automatically.  You want as far away from that as possible, and to put walls between you and it. 

Everything you do now will be judged in light of what people who will already know this is a scam/evil enterprise that concretely harmed many people would do if they were asked to get near a super-sketchy precious-metals scam.  Just stay away: it's the best defense. 

Zamboni

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #540 on: July 21, 2021, 07:43:30 PM »
Every time I hear about these types of shenanigans, it reminds me of this guy:
https://www.wral.com/former-unc-ch-professor-duped-by-drug-cartel-says-phony-evidence-used-to-convict-fire-him/17112103/

And the fake gemstones scam is absolutely a thing even if it isn't for laundering drug money. Just go on a trip to Mexico and see how many little jewelry stores there are in the towns surrounding resort areas . . . all claiming to have legitimate, natural stones for a tiny fraction of what you would pay anywhere else in the world.

I had the opposite experience in a tourist town in Mexico. The prices at the stores were so outrageously high, it was fucking unbelievable. I had never been before, so thought I might be able to find some good jewelry deals because I still wore it back then.

I know my jewelry, so when I tried on a ruby and diamond pendent set in silver, I just about spit out my drink when the guy showed me the price was $11,000 USD, but he would give it to me for $7000. It was worth $2000 max, absolute, high end retail, bought at a boutique in an expensive hotel where the prices are gross, MAX. Probably closer to $1000 from one of my old no-nonsense, no-frills Montreal jewelers.

It was the same at all the stores. I started really enjoying my shopping experience because it was fun to see just how absurd the prices were for the rich, stupid tourists. Same with the spas that tried to sell me $700 in skin creams by literally dragging me off the street and slathering goo on my hands.

It was wild, literally not a single vendor for a 20 block stretch had a reasonable price. This was a commercial Street right behind all of the crazy expensive resorts in an area where leaving that one, heavily guarded strip wasn't safe. So I guess the vendors had a literally captive audience of rich, bored tourists willing to part with huge sums of money.

Lol, yes, I am also familiar with these areas of Mexico. I was with someone once who bought a $145 (USD) bottle of tequila from one of the places along a street like that. I was like "Dude!" but he still seems very happy with that purchase to this day.

Hilariously, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it is all the same stones. I have looked at enough examples of natural emeralds vs. synthetic emeralds to know that most of what I am seeing in those stores is synthetic, at best. Synthetic stones are not as valuable, for whatever reason, even if they are just a pretty or prettier. Not being a gemologist, I would never spend a large sum of money on a stone, although I do like pretty jewelry that doesn't cost a ton.

Malcat

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #541 on: July 22, 2021, 06:41:00 AM »
Every time I hear about these types of shenanigans, it reminds me of this guy:
https://www.wral.com/former-unc-ch-professor-duped-by-drug-cartel-says-phony-evidence-used-to-convict-fire-him/17112103/

And the fake gemstones scam is absolutely a thing even if it isn't for laundering drug money. Just go on a trip to Mexico and see how many little jewelry stores there are in the towns surrounding resort areas . . . all claiming to have legitimate, natural stones for a tiny fraction of what you would pay anywhere else in the world.

I had the opposite experience in a tourist town in Mexico. The prices at the stores were so outrageously high, it was fucking unbelievable. I had never been before, so thought I might be able to find some good jewelry deals because I still wore it back then.

I know my jewelry, so when I tried on a ruby and diamond pendent set in silver, I just about spit out my drink when the guy showed me the price was $11,000 USD, but he would give it to me for $7000. It was worth $2000 max, absolute, high end retail, bought at a boutique in an expensive hotel where the prices are gross, MAX. Probably closer to $1000 from one of my old no-nonsense, no-frills Montreal jewelers.

It was the same at all the stores. I started really enjoying my shopping experience because it was fun to see just how absurd the prices were for the rich, stupid tourists. Same with the spas that tried to sell me $700 in skin creams by literally dragging me off the street and slathering goo on my hands.

It was wild, literally not a single vendor for a 20 block stretch had a reasonable price. This was a commercial Street right behind all of the crazy expensive resorts in an area where leaving that one, heavily guarded strip wasn't safe. So I guess the vendors had a literally captive audience of rich, bored tourists willing to part with huge sums of money.

Lol, yes, I am also familiar with these areas of Mexico. I was with someone once who bought a $145 (USD) bottle of tequila from one of the places along a street like that. I was like "Dude!" but he still seems very happy with that purchase to this day.

Hilariously, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it is all the same stones. I have looked at enough examples of natural emeralds vs. synthetic emeralds to know that most of what I am seeing in those stores is synthetic, at best. Synthetic stones are not as valuable, for whatever reason, even if they are just a pretty or prettier. Not being a gemologist, I would never spend a large sum of money on a stone, although I do like pretty jewelry that doesn't cost a ton.

Do you mean lab grown emeralds? Because lab grown emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are all still chemically identical to the natural stones. The lab versions of these stones do look super fake, but not because they're different from natural stones, it's because they're abnormally flawless. So ironically, cheap, lab grown emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are cheap because they're so perfect they look fake.

But yes, although the necklace I was talking about was natural stones, I did see a lot of places selling lab stones for prices that would be extreme even for natural stones.

I saw a lot of giant diamond ring wearing ladies buying this obscenely overpriced crap thinking they were getting great deals. It was bizarre.

AlanStache

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #542 on: July 22, 2021, 07:34:06 AM »
...
I saw a lot of giant diamond ring wearing ladies buying this obscenely overpriced crap thinking they were getting great deals. It was bizarre.

Maybe that crap was cheap compared to Beverly Hills?  Also they were buying the story of how & where they bought the rocks, "oh yes thank you, I do love wearing this piece, we picked it out a few years back in cobo, the prices down there are just so cheap you almost have to buy. We love spending time down there...."  My general dr has done similar to this with his watches, unprompted, like I dont care about your trip to Miami to meet your watch guy, can we get back to my sore throat? 

« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 08:01:09 AM by AlanStache »

RetiredAt63

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #543 on: July 22, 2021, 09:19:29 AM »
  Also they were buying the story of how & where they bought the rocks, "oh yes thank you, I do love wearing this piece, we picked it out a few years back in cobo, the prices down there are just so cheap you almost have to buy. We love spending time down there...."  My general dr has done similar to this with his watches, unprompted, like I dont care about your trip to Miami to meet your watch guy, can we get back to my sore throat?

Don't most of us do this?  I buy fibre (for spinning) when I am on vacation - "I got this alpaca in BC, I got that alpaca in New Zealand" - so they are good stories and spinning them brings back good memories.  Good alpaca fibre is good alpaca fibre no matter where the animal lives, but the buying it on holiday is fun.

Of course I am not buying horrible fibre or paying massive overcharges when I buy it on vacation.   ;-)

iris lily

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #544 on: July 22, 2021, 11:23:21 AM »
I love the Czech Republic, but I got very tired of seeing the same Garnet jewelry and every third store in the tourist town’s. Who buys that stuff? Also, check glassworks pumped out the same shapes and pieces for the tourist trade.

I have a lot of respect for Czcech artistry. They are well-known for their cool long history of amazing craftwork and commercial art, but it’s hard to get behind the scenes to see the real artistry.

Zamboni

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #545 on: July 22, 2021, 11:03:45 PM »
Do you mean lab grown emeralds? Because lab grown emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are all still chemically identical to the natural stones. The lab versions of these stones do look super fake, but not because they're different from natural stones, it's because they're abnormally flawless. So ironically, cheap, lab grown emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are cheap because they're so perfect they look fake.

But yes, although the necklace I was talking about was natural stones, I did see a lot of places selling lab stones for prices that would be extreme even for natural stones.

I saw a lot of giant diamond ring wearing ladies buying this obscenely overpriced crap thinking they were getting great deals. It was bizarre.

Yes, by synthetic I mean lab grown. Here's the thing: beautiful gems can be made fairly cheaply, so why do gems still cost so much? And why do natural stones (which have flaws) cost even more? Yes, I understand that mining gemstones is expensive . . . but why is that mining still happening? The entire gem market has become a total racket, if you ask me.

I understand sentimental value of family jewelry, but beyond that I am just stumped. If anyone presented me with any sort "invest in gemstones" scheme, I would laugh right in their face.

Malcat

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Re: My Soon-To-Be Millionaire Family Members
« Reply #546 on: July 23, 2021, 05:58:00 AM »
Do you mean lab grown emeralds? Because lab grown emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are all still chemically identical to the natural stones. The lab versions of these stones do look super fake, but not because they're different from natural stones, it's because they're abnormally flawless. So ironically, cheap, lab grown emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are cheap because they're so perfect they look fake.

But yes, although the necklace I was talking about was natural stones, I did see a lot of places selling lab stones for prices that would be extreme even for natural stones.

I saw a lot of giant diamond ring wearing ladies buying this obscenely overpriced crap thinking they were getting great deals. It was bizarre.

Yes, by synthetic I mean lab grown. Here's the thing: beautiful gems can be made fairly cheaply, so why do gems still cost so much? And why do natural stones (which have flaws) cost even more? Yes, I understand that mining gemstones is expensive . . . but why is that mining still happening? The entire gem market has become a total racket, if you ask me.

I understand sentimental value of family jewelry, but beyond that I am just stumped. If anyone presented me with any sort "invest in gemstones" scheme, I would laugh right in their face.

When was the gemstone market *NOT* a total racket. You talk about it as if it hasn't always been a corrupt, price fixing mess.