The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police (PSFU) in Lagos has arrested a suspected female fraudster for allegedly defrauding a 50-year-old German man of US$220,000 (about 200,000 euros), after promising to marry him.
The police spokesperson, SP Eyitayo Johnson, who confirmed the arrest in a statement on Wednesday (19 April 2023), said the 21-year-old suspect lured the victim on Instagram by feigning romantic intentions towards him.
The statement read in part, “The suspect, a 2019 graduate of Economics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka; who claimed to be a Model and Proprietress of a Massage Spa [name withheld by the editor], lured the 50-year old victim on Instagram by feigning romantic intentions towards him, thereby gaining the victims’ trust and goodwill.”
“Miss C. [full name withheld by the editor] promised to marry the victim, invited him to Nigeria for visits on several occasions and convinced him to relocate permanently to Nigeria to live together as husband and wife.
“In a ploy to dispel suspicion, the victim was made to meet with C.’s parents at Ikot-Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, where he received their blessings to marry their daughter.
“The victim was persuaded by the suspect to return to Germany to sell his house in Stuttgart, and forward the proceeds of sale, together with his pension and life savings to her domiciliary bank account; for the purpose of purchasing a house in Nigeria where they will both live as husband and wife as well as to establish a joint business outfit as indicated in the bank transfer narration.
“During interview sessions, the suspect admitted in her statement that the sum of Two Hundred and Twenty Thousand Dollars (US$220,000) was transferred to her account by the victim.
“Part of the proceed was then used to buy a 2-Bedroom Terrace apartment at Zara Estate, Ikota Villa, Lekki Phase II, while some of the funds was sent to support her mother’s business and to pay medical bills of her father.”
“Efforts are ongoing to recover other proceeds of the crime,” the statement added.
Obviously, after the man had transferred the money into the suspect’s account, she began to shun him and became unreachable to the victim. This led the German to report the case to the police.
Such as romance scams have led to financial losses for many victims around the world. They occur when a criminal adopts a deceitful online identity to gain a victim’s affection and trust. The scammer then uses the illusion of a romantic or close relationship to manipulate and/or steal from the victim.
Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.
Law-enforcement agencies warn people from easily falling in love with partners in far away lands they meet online without proper checks.