Aruba jewelry purchase is this a scam?
ANSWER is after the question:
Quetions for Andy
Name: steve K Country: USA
Message: Daer Andy: My wife and I visited Aruba in April and enjoyed the trip. During our visit we made several visits to a jewelry store named Kristie¢s Jewels located in the high rise section of town. We purchased some earrings and a ring in $ 3,500 range. A check was made out to the store as instructed and a back up debit card payment was also submitted. The understanding was once the check cleared the debit slip would be destroyed. Subsequently we received several e-mails and phone calls from one of the owners that had been on site at the store when we made the purchase. He wanted a replacement check sent to an address in the United States (a jewelry store with a different name than in Aruba).The check would be made out to that store. I was suspicious so I suggested my wife stop payment on the check and have the debit card replaced with a new one. A reason was never given
for the new check request except that it needed to be made out to another business not the store where the jewelry was ! purchased. The original check was returned via US mail but not the debit slip .
My question is does this sound like a scam? How would we prove we paid for the Jewelry should the original store be in bankruptcy or if the owners are having some type divorce fight? Even worse could this be an attempt to launder funds? If we do not have a canceled check and receipt made out to the store what proof would we have that we paid besides the original store recipt? We would like to pay for the items purchased in good faith but are concerned about this situation. Could you respond at your earliest convenience. Please do not post this with my e-mail address, names or locations. Thank you.
First, you did the right thing, when dealing other countries for sure you want to be in the power position.
On the other hand, the countries not like the USA have some strange quirks. I have a techie in India, ifhe tried to cash a check from me, he would be charged about 20 percent.
The next problem is many people, any country including the USA want to cheat on taxes.
It sound like maybe they have a company or supplier they know and want the money sent there, this would avoid them paying taxes, and get more good to sell.
My advice if you want to be honest, send a check back to Aruba and I am positive they will find a way to collect the money. It could takes months for them, but they will collect the money, there is no three day guarantee to clear checks in other countries.
I have no idea, I think Aruba may speak French, not sure.
Nonetheless, you have protected yourself, they changed the rules, a silly move on their part.
Laundry money, cheat on taxes maybe, not sure this much money is my idea of laudering money.
I would suppose, time to take the Jewelry and have is looked at to make sure it is real.
Andy of HoboTraveler.com in Bangkok, Thailand