Expats, beware of a Colombian/Arab scammer in IST (Istanbul)
Please be aware and very careful of a person from Colombia who says he is of Arab and Dutch descent, member of many expat groups and art society circles in Istanbul. He is a trickster and is presumed to be a professional conman in the academic and art world. I have known him very well for 2 years and trusted him as a very close friend. He tricked me out of Protected content only because I became wary of his tales, it could have been much more.
This is the information I have about him:
He claims to be of Colombian-Dutch descent, having resided in Colombia, the Netherlands, Israel, Bahrain, Lebanon. He speaks Spanish, English, Dutch, a bit of German and, as far as I know, as I worked with him in a translation agency, Arabic and Hebrew as well. He is well networked in the international art world, with a lot of published articles and interviews, and moves in the art circles of (high) society in Istanbul. With a person as established as this, and on top of it with an extremely charming personality, a well-read intellectual, it's difficult to lend credibility to my side of the story, especially as it is only my word against his. He is extremely friendly and we had long online conversations, in the course of which he would suddenly tell me an incredible sounding story -but credible for Istanbul, as strange things can happen- (his suicidal boyfriend tried to stab himself, he got pickpocketed, his phone was stolen, his apartment got broken into, his rent is due but he'll get money from Beirut soon, etc.), and twice I voluntarily lent him money, once via Western Union (I have proof) and once personally (my husband as a witness). He also asked for a long-term funding commitment of helping out a Syrian refugee which I was very willing to participate in. When I named my conditions, he got extremely angry, became abusive and insulting. I therefore asked for my money back (approx. 120EUR) and he is either ignoring or being rude to me. This week I googled his name and was shocked to read someone describing exactly the same scenario with him in Colombia, in a posting from Protected content . Only these accusations are worse: visa scams, stolen property, falsifying MBA degrees. Please, if you know him, or know someone who does (especially Turkish art people), beware. Ask him for securities, double check his background, and don't trust him, be very careful with his persona. He is extremely smart and leaves you with hardly any evidence.
It seems he operates internationally:
I hope this helps to stop him.