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The black money scam, sometimes also known as the "black dollar scam" or "wash wash scam", is a scam where con artists attempt to fraudulently obtain money from a victim by convincing them that piles of banknote-sized paper are real currency that has been stained in a heist. The victim is persuaded to pay fees and purchase chemicals to remove the dye, with the promise of a share in the proceeds.
The black money scam is a variation of what is known as advance fee fraud.
A Ghanaian native caught perpetrating the scam revealed the tricks of the trade to ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross. Authentic US$100 bills are coated with a protective layer of glue, and then dipped into a solution of tincture of iodine. The bill, when dried, looks and feels like black construction paper. The mass of notes are real construction paper; when the victim picks a "note" for cleaning, it is switched with the iodine-coated note. The "magic cleaning solution" is actually crushed vitamin C tablets dissolved in water. In another arrest, ordinary raspberry drink mix was found to be the "magic cleaning solution". Solutions of calcium hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide have also been used as washing agents in the scam.
- Toronto Police warning CP24 article on an arrest report with an alert on the Black Money scam mentioning forged currency December 2022
- Metropolitan Police Information on the fraud from the London Metropolitan Police Service
- BBC An article from the BBC on how a businessman was conned out of $742,000.
- Two conmen in dollar bill hoax arrested Gulf News article from December 2018.
- Fraudaid How to do it.
- IOL Cops arrest 'black dollar' victim October 2007