I have been in contact with a prospect that is asking an unusual request. We started communicating through text and email, and after I gave him an estimate he accepted which was great.

But before sending me an initial payment he said he needed a favor:

He would send me money to pay another private consultant, because he says this other consultant doesn't have the resources to accept visa payments.

Initially, I declined doing this and haven't yet. It seems odd to me that they can't seem to work out this transaction between themselves.

Has anyone heard anything like this before? What do you think is the right action to take with this request?


Matt Frey


It's a scam

Anytime an unknown third party is involved regarding payment, it's a scam. Especially, if it's along the lines of "I'll pay you, then you pay them".

Just pass on the project.

The Con:

He sends you money that is "on hold" or a check... then you pay the third party... then the money he sent is revoked, or the check bounces, leaving you paying out with no return.

No one in business, and I mean no one, "doesn't have the ability to accept Visa" as long as Paypal and email addresses exist.

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  • Thanks for your response, Scott. That was the impression I was getting. I asked him why his private consultant wouldn't use PayPal and he didn't have an answer. I also asked if I could speak to this person and so far there has been no response. – matt6frey Oct 28 '17 at 21:25
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    He's not going to answer your questions. Just break contact and forget about him. He's only trying to rip you off. It's a play on the "Nigerian Prince wanting to send you $5 Million, but you need to pay the $500 processing fee first." If you don't believe me, feel free to send me $200 and I'll email you proof. :) – Scott Oct 28 '17 at 21:29
  • Okay, I already said I wasn't going to do this favor. I told him that immediately, as I also stated in my question above. – matt6frey Oct 29 '17 at 0:38
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    Just to clarify: PayPal is not available in many countries such as Pakistan and others. You can't have a PayPal account if you live in Pakistan. I had face that problem when had to pay a freelance collegue from that country. – Constantinus Oct 29 '17 at 9:38
  • If someone is asked to send money other than via known, respectable payment gateways I would suspect a scam even more so. If you can't use Paypal because of your location, how is the money to be sent? And does that method cost me anything more? is that method secure? Are there chargeback options for that method? Most importantly . . Why can't the original requestor send money to the third party using that method? Paypal not being available is a week excuse at best. – Scott Oct 31 '17 at 19:05

Scott has the right answer. It is a Scam!

Additionally: Even if it where not a scam, it would most likely be illegal. You may want to check your local regulations on money-laundering. You would function as a payment provider, which usually have to fulfill a lot of requirements.

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