Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Alton woman victim of scammer

March 17, 2010 9:37 PM
By LINDA N. WELLER
The Telegraph
ALTON – An Alton woman apparently is out $49,400 while also being an unwitting participant in a two-front scam by a Nigerian man she “met” through an online dating service.

Her mistake of wiring money to Africa may land her in bankruptcy, an Alton Police Department report says.

The Nigerian reportedly had told the woman he needed the money to invest in a diamond mining business so as “to help his business and for the two of them to gain wealth and live worry-free together.”

The two never met in person, the police report says.

They did talk on the telephone, with the man calling the Alton woman daily “with numerous calls,” as well as communicating online.

The woman told police that she had sent 39 Western Union money wires and two MoneyGrams over an unspecified period of time after beginning the long-distance “relationship” last June.

Besides transferring the thousands of dollars to the man and to others under his direction, she also began accepting packages for him that contained new, name-brand merchandise.

The Nigerian had told her, “It was not safe (for the packages) to come directly to Nigeria,” so she should pay to have them mailed to him, the police report says.

However, the woman had not gotten around to re-mailing the packages when she received a telephone call last week from a man in Newport, N.C., who had discovered unauthorized charges of about $2,000 on his credit card.

The North Carolinian traced the shipment of some of the purchases to the woman’s Alton address, looked up her telephone number and called her, the police report says.

It was when the man called her that the woman realized she not only was a victim but unknowingly was accepting goods that the Nigerian had ordered using others’ credit card numbers, the report says.

The North Carolina man told her he was contacting Alton police and advised her to do so, also, which she did the same day.

The Alton woman eventually received even more packages, orders that were charged to the accounts of a man from Columbus, Ohio, a Kentucky woman and a Connecticut man.

The police report lists the contents and sales prices of the shipments as: two American Eagle brand shirts, $39 each; two blankets, no value listed; a $59.99 comforter; two Adidas brand shirts, $52 each; two Nike brand shirts, $45 each; American Eagle brand jeans and shirt, $39.50 each; an iPod touch screen from Best Buy; and a pair of Asics shoes, with no value listed on the last two items.

A reporter was unable to reach the victim for comment and further information, or Lt. Scott Golike, chief of detectives at the Alton Police Department, regarding involvement of any other law enforcement agencies in the investigation.

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March 25, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. Mr Prince think you are doing a fantastics job of exposing these basters out here you are preying on lonely hearts. I was scammed also out of $4,300 also from someone by the name of Gregory Powell who I met in December of 2009 through the dating site E-Harmony. After few weeks chatting with him on yahoo messenger he told me that he was in UK on a contract with an oil rigging company and will be back home in Pocomoke, Maryland early in 2010. In January of 2010 he sent me something like a confirmation from Klm airline he will be travelling from the UK to New York but when I notice on the confirmation he had a balance on the ticket, so he want me to help paid for the ticket until he get here he will pay me back from the money he earn from the contract. I hesitated and told him how I felt about this because I’ve seen on dateline (NBC) how they scam people out of their money. After questioning him as to why can’t he get access to his money he give me the foolish excuse that they wont release the money if he not in person. As a single mother I told him I dont have much money to go on so if I lend him my money he have to give me back as soon as he get here and he promised me and even swear on his dead mother and father who he said died accidently. I then send $1500 but when he get that he told me that the hotel have his passport and he owe the hotel $2800 and they refuse to let him leave so if I can send that money to let him get home to me and start a life with me. I was very frustrated because my intuition is telling me that this man is lying to me, but I said to him send me something to let me know you are who you say u are, he then send me his passport via e-mail. I asked how he get the passport, because he told me the hotel have it, His answer was that he told them that he need it to get some money I send to pay them. After two weeks hesitating and the frustration, bickering between us, he convince me that he is who he said he was and really want to start a life with me, so on March 2 I send him that money and last spoke to him on March 4 on yahoo messsenger and on the phone, he told me he should be in New York the morning of March 5. From then I have not heard anything from him. To this time I look back on all the conversation and realize this man is really a scam artist. Gone with most of my earnings that I have struggled so hard to save and leave me stranded with no financial cushion me an my children, I would not rest until I now scumb bags like these are behind bars. I still have the copy of his passprt and will be happy to pass it to the authorities.

    That’s why I am so glad for avenues like this that exposed them for who they are.

    Comment by mj | April 3, 2010 | Reply

    • MJ, my heart goes out to you. these guys are so mean.they laugh and feel happy by making others to cry, without any regards as to their feelings. you can forward his passport to the authorities at http://www.efcconline.com and also to your local police. most importantly, take time off to heal from this event. if you can go through some more stories here, you will be able to learn how you others got over this. above all, don’t communicate with the guy again. just my 2pence.regards

      Comment by alanprince | April 16, 2010 | Reply

  2. I am sorry to hear this, The key is education and to tell people sites like http://www.scamwarners.com/ exist, and will help anyone with doubts. Alas the passport picture etc is a forgery. You can look at these and study the amount of noise or pixel scatter around each part. Where the photo and text is added there is often far more clearer imagery. Please don’t fall for a money recovery scam which can follow on next. Any unsolicited mails from a detective about this ones arrest are scams. Also the rule is never send money over internet, never accept cheques or cash. Never accept gifts or parcels, never part with personal information. Sending anything by Western Union or Moneygram is similar to leaving the money on the street corner. You will not see it again.

    Comment by Master Baiter | April 4, 2010 | Reply

  3. Gregory Powell was communicating with me via eHarmony and eHarmony closed his account today. His current e-mail address is powellg81@yahoo.com. I would post his photo too if I could.

    Comment by RS | April 13, 2010 | Reply

  4. The same (Nigerian) extortion ring that swindled money out of women using the guise of Gregory Powell, now has a new profile on eHarmony as: mark texas, OH, claiming to be a physician.

    Comment by Gregory Pwell | April 17, 2010 | Reply

    • I am just communication with a Gregory Powell telling me he lives in Paris and is a coach. His email address is powell.gregory@orange.fr
      Can you tell me if this is the same person than the Gregory Powell from the US?

      Comment by Edeltraud Gruber | May 16, 2015 | Reply


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