Internet dating scams from 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.
"Over the last three years, we've seen a steady increase in cybercrime coming from the region.
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. The Nigerian crime ring created a network of what investigators call electronic-mules, or e-mules, across the U. These victims unwittingly helped carry out a bunch of money-making schemes, like cashing fake checks and shipping goods bought with stolen credit cards. "It probably moved through four different hands before something went overseas," Annette Williams said.
"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. That's when she got suspicious and called police. 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.
The scheme shocked prosecutors, with Annette Williams calling it the most brazen.
And in the end, they were spending their own money to purchase their own merchandise back," said Todd Williams, the Homeland Security agent.