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Queensland woman who wanted to help orphans loses home in Nigerian email scam

Robyn Ironside From: The Courier-Mail June 01, 2010 12:36PM
AN interior designer who lost $300,000 in a Nigerian scam has spoken out about her experience in the hope of preventing others from falling victim.

Jill from the Sunshine Coast was first contacted by email in September 2005 inviting expressions of interest in a hospital renovation project in Lagos.

As a result of her interest in helping orphans in Africa, Jill agreed to take on the project upgrading five hospitals for $US11 million.

Over the next four years, Jill spoke to those involved in the project every night and even travelled to Amsterdam to collect her payment.

She was repeatedly asked for payments for various items, including certificates to authorise the payment and medical treatment for her “project partners”.

Finally the emails and phone calls ended in July 2009 – after Jill ran out of money.

She said she lost her home as a result of the scam but denied she was gullible.

“I’m a very headstrong person,” said Jill.

“If I want to do something nothing will stop me and I really believed I was meant to go to Africa and work with the orphans.”

Police used Jill’s story to promote their global day of action against advance fee fraud, and to encourage Queenslanders to “dob in a hacker”.

Superintendent Detective Brian Hay said the day was designed to identify people who might be involved in hacking into websites or databases and retrieving information to be used in mass-marketing schemes.

“Often these schemes are successful because they are targeted and well-organised,” Det-Supt Hay said.
“Queenslanders are falling victim to these scams everyday so it is imperative put an end to it. While we have specialist investigators committed to finding these people, we will always welcome information from the public that may assist.”

Anyone with information about computer hackers are urged to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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June 2, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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