How not to get scammed by a person who says they are a “Somali Christian” but they are not

Many people have emailed Somali Christian Ministries asking for advice on what to do when a Somali comes to their church and asks them“Please help me! I am a Somali Christian and my family is being persecuted and people are trying to kill me. Please help me to immigrate to another country or I might die. Please help me! You are a Christian and I am a Christian. I love Jesus please help me so that I can go somewhere to live out my faith in freedom.”

The soft spoken pirates and fraudsters:

This article is written to inform Christians, Churches, and organizations of a scam being run by Somalis who claim to be Somali Christians, but who are really not Somali Christians – they are professional con men and fraudsters looking to receive financial help and immigration help from unsuspecting Christians. There are many true Somali Christians, but be aware, there are phonies as well.

I wanted to provide this article on the website because we at SCM get frequent requests from people wondering what to do with the person coming to them and claiming to be a Somali Christian in need. These requests to SCM have come from South Africa, Greece, Kenya, Canada, the United States and other countries of the world.

What is the scam:

The scam starts off with a Somali coming to a church, or organization, or an individual and providing a story which usually goes something like this“I am a Somali Christian. I am being persecuted and my wife and family have been taken from me. People are trying to kill me. You need to help me. I need to immigrate to a different country. Please help me. You are my brother and I know you will help me because you are my brother and you love Jesus and I love Jesus too. Please help me.”

The Somali con man story creates a real sense of urgency and is intended for the listener to take immediate action to help. Immediate action is wanted by the Somali con man because they don’t want the Christian to take the time to investigate and ask questions because the Somali con man knows that if the Christian asks some questions the story will be found out to be false.

The Somali con man doesn’t want you to ask questions or doubt them, and if you doubt their story they can get very aggravated and start calling you names. This is a good sign that they really are trying to con you. The scam always ends up with a request for you to help the Somali immigrate to a different country or for you to give them money.

How could you respond to the scam:

If you want to part with your money and resources you can go ahead and give them help. However, if you want to only help Somali Christians who really are in need then you should ask them some questions. If you are approached by a Somali who says they are a Somali Christian and in need of financial help or immigration help here are some questions you could ask to ensure that you are not helping someone who is conning you. Some Somalis use the good hearts of Christians to fleece the Christians out of money and other resources.

Question #1: how did you become a Christian?

Once you ask the Somali this question you will start to see whether or not they are a Christian or not and if their story makes any sense. Typical answers from conning Somali con persons are things like:

“I am a Chrstian because I go to church.”

“I am a Christian because I read the Bible.”

“I am a Christian because I believe in Jesus.”

If they are not Christians they will have a very difficult time trying to explain to you how they became a Christian because they really don’t know what it means to be a Christian and how you become one.

Question #2: what did Jesus do for you when you became a Christian?

At this point you are looking for answers to show they understand what it means to be born again, have their sins washed in the blood of Jesus. They should be able to give you their testimony about how they became a Christian. If they don’t know how they became a Christian, or what it means to be a Christian, then chances are they aren’t Christians.

Question #3: what churches you have you gone to and what is the Pastor’s name?

Ask them what churches they went to and get the email address of that church so that you can email the church and verify whether or not the Somali before you really did attend those churches or not.

Question #4: have you been baptized?

Ask them if they were baptized and where they were baptized and by whom. Then you can follow up with those people and find out whether or not the Somali before you really was baptized or not. Ask them to explain to you what it means to be baptized and why they did it.If they refuse then you know you are being scammed.

The conclusion of the matter

By this time if the Somali is not a Christian they will likely start to curse you. This is what usually happens to us. Elementary psychology dictates that someone who is frustrated from achieving their goal will likely became angry and annoyed at the person who is blocking them from receiving what they want. So the Somali who wants money and immigration help from your church and can’t get it because you are trying to confirm first of all if they are a Christian or not will get angry because you are blocking them from getting what they want.