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I’m not gullible’: Nigerian scam victim

GENEVIEVE HAYWARD
June 1, 2010

Alone in a warehouse, somewhere near Amsterdam and fearing for her life, a Sunshine Coast grandmother handed over $26,000 of her life savings to three threatening men.

‘Jill’, 65, today told of her terrifying ordeal with professional scam artists that spanned a period of four years and robbed her of $300,000.

She spoke at the launch the Queensland Police Service’s “dob in a hacker” campaign, which will run from June 1 to June 8 as part of the Think Fraud! global day of action.

Jill’s nightmare started in 2005 when she received an email from Nigeria asking her to participate in the renovation of several hospitals.

But Jill, who owned an interior design business, would not find out until later that her money would never be used for renovations, although there was a trail of false paperwork that claims otherwise.

“I did decide to help particularly because I had always felt I would like to go to Nigeria to look after the orphans,” Jill said.

“I stipulated that if I made any money out of this deal it was to go to the orphans. That was my vulnerability.”

After she followed up on the email, Jill said she was contacted by a man claiming to be Nigerian Commissioner for Health Dr Leke Pitan.

“I’m not sure if he is the real Leke Pitan now but for four years I was led to believe he was,” she said.

“He organised for me to get the contract to renovate five hospitals in Lagos.”

Months later, Jill received an email from ‘Dr Pitan’ telling her she had done a great job with the hospitals and she would be paid $US11 million.

All she needed to do was provide her account details.

“I was told to contact a company in London who would transfer the money for the Nigerian Government,” she said.

“They [the London Company] said they couldn’t send the money to Australia and it needed to be via Barbados.

“Immediately my antenna went up.”

Jill contacted a friend in London who was in the fraud squad, who told her the Nigerian Government set up the company to launder money out of the country.

Unaware ‘Dr Pitan’ was not legitimate, Jill contacted told him and was put in touch with Ireland-based company Home Link Consultants so she could be paid.

“I think they went to put the money in my account seven times and something would always come up,” she said.

“It’s amazing how many things they can come up with to get you to part with the money.”

Jill was told she needed to go to Amsterdam to sign some papers in exchange for the money, but she would need to pay $26,000 to do this.

In Amsterdam, Jill was driven to a deserted factory where, alone with three men, she was presented with a case of money she was told contained her $US11 million.

By this time, Jill was resigned to the fact that she may not make it home alive.

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay said Jill was probably allowed to return home because they were convinced she had more money to give.

Jill has never received any money and has lost $300,000. She said the impact on her life has been enormous.

“I’ve lost my home,” she said.

“It affects you not only financially; it affects you emotionally as well because you can’t speak to anybody about it because people think you’re stupid.

“I’m not gullible.”

Detective Superintendent Hay said it was unlikely Jill’s money would be returned.

“Jill has sent money to France, the UK and Ireland,” he said.

“We’ll reach out to all these countries to see what we can do to rectify the situation but once people send money overseas, it’s gone.”

Detective Superintendent Hay said that in the first four months of this year, 3300 Queenslanders sent in excess of four million dollars to Nigeria and Ghana through fraudulent schemes.

“It’s growing, the number of people who are getting sucked into and trapped in this industry,” he said.

“We urge people to come forward, talk to Crime Stoppers and pass on the information.”

Crime Stoppers can be contacted on 1800 333 000.

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June 2, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. […] I’m not gullible’: Nigerian scam victim « Internet Dating and … […]

    Pingback by Nigerian Scam – Latest Nigerian Scam news – Making Light: A New Nigerian Scam | May 6, 2011 | Reply


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