Ok, so this is a fairly acid tale of a great opportunity I had to make a real estate flip in NYC, but was bungled up by a money lender out of Ghana. This is the future of our business with each other unless we get our sh*t straight. I needed $US 10000 investment money for a real estate opportunity in New York city. I shopped around to a couple of hard money lenders as I would only have needed the cash for about 2 weeks. A fairly pleasant and honest (or so I thought) fellow from Ghana offered his terms to me and said there was an administration fee up front for this transaction. I was very hesitant, but was able to get a quid pro quo dance for my Western Union money transfer. So I have a scan of a wire deposit slip in my inbox and I think these people are acting in good faith, so I give them the administration fee. 1 day passes and I haven't seen the wire in my account. 2 days pass and I still haven't seen the wire in my account. The day of the opportunity comes (today) and I sill don't see the money in my account. So I call up the lenders and ask what is going on. They say the transfer has been stopped by the authorities, as all international transfers are taxed. So my $US 10000 requires another $1000 from me, to be wired immediately to the lender so he can pay that tax..... riiiiiiight!!! I asked him to remove those funds and send them via Western Union - he can't. I asked him to send $9000, and use the difference to pay the tax - he can't. He can magically come up with $700 if I can send the last remaining $300 in my account (I just came up with that figure). I figured most African scams were coming out of Nigeria. And when I saw the scan of the EcoBank (a rising Pan-African banking group) deposit slip, and the lender's faith in god and blah blah blah, I thought ok, these people are acting in good faith. Nope. Even if he was being completely honest about not knowing there was a tax on international wires (very probable in a lot of countries), he should have me know this or made some kind of provision. Nope. So this is what I'm stuck with - out of pocket travel and accommodation expense, lost opportunity, lost hope and faith in getting anything real accomplished. Maybe there are some money lending opportunities I overlooked here or elsewhere. But this is a cautionary tale from someone who is usually very prudent in all his affairs. I'm licking my wounds and regrouping with an eye to controlling all aspects of my money in the future. This has set me back at least a year. And it has sobered me on the realities of doing business with Africa in the real world, right now.