The number one reason people send money home is support – for family, friends, a business or for love.

And when it comes to matters of the heart, love can make people a little blind to those taking advantage of people’s kindness. It’s a scam, but in our opinion, that’s not a strong enough word for what’s going on.

It’s all about manipulating a person emotionally in order to get money. The way it works is that someone in another part of the world befriends someone in this country online. The friendship develops. And then a request comes in for money – it could be to help a relative, or a family business, or because a life-saving operation is desperately needed.

And at that point the person receiving the request is caught in an almost impossible situation. I mean, what do you do when a women or man you’ve slightly fallen in love with tells you they’re in desperate trouble, and only you can help?

It’s only natural that you want to help

Of course, you want to help. Because what kind of person would you be if you didn’t? And we understand that. But we also understand, because we’ve seen these situations more than once, that the whole thing is likely to be an elaborate, emotionally manipulative fraud.

The little we can do at Azimo, just to double check things, maybe provide a bit of pause for consideration, is to ask a few more questions, request a few more details. And it’s hard to ask those questions. That’s because by asking them we can seem to be holding up an urgently needed flow of funds. Or we might be suggesting that maybe the whole thing is a fraud – and who wants to hear that when they’re under pressure to help a ‘friend’?

But it’s because we are serious about the security of your money that we will continue to ask these questions. It’s the right thing for us to do.

Talk to someone about what’s going on

So the only thing we’ll add is that if you ever find yourself in a situation where a friend you only know online asks you to send them a large sum of money, please talk to someone you know about it. It could be a friend, or a family member, or a colleague you used to work with. Just get a different point of view on what’s going on.

And if you do ever get the point where you’re sending money, and we seem to be asking a lot of seemingly unimportant extra questions, please believe we’re only doing it because we have your best interests at heart.