I am always shocked by folks who fail for Nigerian Internet schemes or web cons. The saddest, however, are the ones (as we have seen) that prey upon people looking for companions. A 48-year-old Naperville man has added himself to that lonely hearts club after giving $200,000 to a fake “girlfriend” whom he only knew over the Internet.
The man had a 2 1/2-year online relationship with the woman and wired the money to different bank accounts in Nigeria, Malaysia, England and the United States. The money was needed to rescue her from a variety of “sticky situations,” but the man was then told she had been kidnapped. He went to the police to ask them to help him find the woman and said he wanted to contact Scotland Yard to search and secure her release.
He was shocked to learn that she was not real and that she had shown him a sample driver’s license from Florida.
I still do not understand why we cannot do a better job in tracing this money or arranging stings. This is a case where the scam was ongoing and money was being sent to existing accounts before the man was told the truth about the cyber honeytrap.