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Pensioner duped in Nigerian scam ‘to help nun’s charity’

By Stefanos Evripidou
Published on June 16, 2012

A 37-YEAR-OLD Nigerian man was remanded yesterday by the Larnaca district court for six days

in connection with allegedly defrauding a pensioner out of around €8,000. 

According to Larnaca police spokesman Christos Andreou, police received a complaint on

Thursday from a 72-year-old Greek Cypriot from Nicosia that he had been duped into making

money to help a ‘nun’ carry out her charity work.

Last February, the 72-year-old received an email from a ‘nun’ claiming to have $5.3 million

in a safety box in a security firm in London, which she wanted to give to charity.

The ‘nun’ offered him a 25 per cent cut to help ‘her’ distribute the money. 

Eight days later, according to the man’s statement, he received a second email message from

another person claiming he was the nun’s doctor. He informed the pensioner that the nun had

died two days earlier and asking for €300 to transfer ownership of the safety box. 

The complainant sent the €300.

In early June, he received a telephone call informing him that a representative of the

London security firm was in Cyprus to deliver the safety box with the $5.3m.

On June 6, the 72-year-old received another phone call from said representative who asked

the pensioner for €1,980 so he could pay the necessary taxes at Larnaca Customs and release

the box. Using a money transfer service, the man paid his dues.

The 72-year-old then met this ‘representative’ at a Larnaca hotel, where he was asked to pay

a further €5,800 to issue a certificate of ownership for the box. 

At this point, the Cypriot began to suspect that something was amiss and informed Larnaca

CID.

Police found the alleged confidence trickster at the hotel, where they arrested him for

giving a false identity.

During questioning, the 37-year-old Nigerian denied any involvement in the fraud and any

knowledge of a box containing money. 

Andreou urged the public to seek police advice when receiving suspicious messages via text

or email requesting money transactions.

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June 27, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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