Dating scam artists nigeria
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He said a payment had to be made right away in order for them to get the goods he needed from a supplier - and that he couldn't make the transaction from Afghanistan.She recalled: 'As I was showing prospective buyers around my house I was so excited as Glen was due to be coming home tomorrow.
"What these are, are really finely tuned, sophisticated schemes that are targeted to separate you from your money," said Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of cloud research at cybersecurity company Trend Micro.
"He asked me about my family and I asked him about his. Four defendants remain fugitives, with three last known to be in Nigeria.
Crime rings like this one have raked in billion, according to Trend Micro and that's expected to increase as West Africa, the region that includes Nigeria, is considered the new cybercrime hotbed.
it didn't matter if it was male or female," said Annette Williams, an assistant U. attorney with the Southern District of Mississippi, who prosecuted the case. "These type of transnational criminal organizations solicit their victims between the ages of 45- 75, widowed men and women. The Nigerian criminals were living large for local standards, both at home in Nigeria and in South Africa, where many of the students were living on student visas.
They choose these individuals because they are lonely, [and] in most occasions, they have access to money," said Todd Williams, an agent with Homeland Security Investigations. J.'s online boyfriend sent her a box of phones and asked her to mail them to Africa. "That one phone call took down this massive fraud network," said Conor Mulroe, a Department of Justice trial attorney, who prosecuted the case. "That they had cars that other students didn't have, they had the watches and all of that, and they threw a lot of parties," Annette Williams said. "We have victim statements where people lost their homes," Annette Williams said. "Many of the victims targeted with counterfeit checks, this episode just sent them into a financial spiral that they're still dealing with," Mulroe said. Investigators worked with South Africa and Canada to extradite those responsible.
"Am totally new to this online dating stuff…" "Am in West Africa for a particular contract but would be getting that accomplished in a couple of week…" "We should be able to take this relationship to another level when i get home." After a relationship was established, the con artists began asking for favors. "They had no jobs, they had no source of income other than these scams." At the same time, victims in the U. Twelve pleaded guilty and were sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
"I want you to assist me pay the bill," one note asked. J., who asked CNBC to identify her by her initials. Three were found guilty at trial and received sentences of up to 115 years in prison.
The scheme shocked prosecutors, with Annette Williams calling it the most brazen.
As the crime ring operated, they began to get more sophisticated and relied on prepaid cards to move money, instead of e-mules.
While other West African crime rings exist and often use these romance ploys, this ring also had two scams that were unique, one involving college textbooks, the other prepaid credit cards.
"They not only would purchase the textbooks with compromised credit cards, but in most instances, within 48-72 hours from purchasing the textbooks, they would actually sell the textbooks back to the same textbook company online that they stole the books from.
"It would all start where they would purchase compromised credit card data. They would create thousands of American Express Serve prepaid accounts.