The scammer even went as far as setting up a fake business website to help legitimize the claim.
According to authorities, the divorcee got her hands on 0,000 by pulling it out of her retirement account as well as refinancing her home.
By the time that someone in her life contacted the authorities, the woman had wired an additional 0,000 as a second loan to help the fake oil rig business.
Detailed by San Francisco ABC news affiliate KGO-TV, a 66-year-old San Jose divorcee was swindled out of 0,000 by a Nigerian man who used an online dating site profile as bait.Claiming to be an Irish citizen named David Holmes that worked on a Scottish oil rig, the man started talking to the divorcee through dating site Christian Mingle.com, a site that markets itself as “the online community created specifically for Christian singles looking to find friends, romance or marriage.” The relationship initially progressed from communication through the dating site to emails, text messages, flower deliveries and eventually phone calls. The woman, in her 50s and struggling in her marriage, was happy to find someone to chat with. He was very positive, and I felt like there was a real connection there.”That connection would end up costing the woman million and an untold amount of heartache after the man she fell in love with—whom she never met in person—took her for every cent she had.Victims—predominantly older widowed or divorced women targeted by criminal groups usually from Nigeria—are, for the most part, computer literate and educated. And con artists know exactly how to exploit that vulnerability because potential victims freely post details about their lives and personalities on dating and social media sites.“This is a very difficult crime to prove,” Beining said.
“When someone is using a computer to hide behind, the hardest thing to find out is who they are.In addition, Turkish authorities were able to arrest an associate of the Nigerian scammer at the bank in question.The Skype and email accounts used by “David Holmes” were traced back to a location in Nigeria.We can find out where in the world their computer is being used.It’s identifying who they actually are that’s the hard part.In July 2016, the two Nigerian co-conspirators pleaded guilty in connection with their roles in the scam, and a federal judge sentenced them each to 36 months in prison last December.