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Nigerian Scammer Arrested in UK on Illinois Charges

Thisday newspaper

Olayinka Ilumsa Sunmola

A Nigerian man indicted in the United Kingdom (UK) has been accused of running an online “romance scam” that ensnared at least 30 women in Illinois, Missouri and elsewhere. He has been arrested in London, the US attorney’s office said Tuesday.

Olayinka Ilumsa Sunmola, 31, pretended to be a current or retired member of the military, using information and photos he had stolen from real people on online dating sites, the indictment says.

According to the St Loius Post-Dispatch, he wooed each woman for months, using flowers, stuffed animals, greeting cards and candy and promises that each “was his one true love, his sole love interest, and the woman with whom he intended to spend the rest of his life,” the indictment claimed.

Once they were involved in a relationship, Sunmola began manufacturing fake emergencies that required ever-increasing amounts of money from his victims, prosecutors said.

The victims were not named but lived in Illinois’ Bond County, St. Charles and St. Louis counties, Mascoutah and elsewhere. Sunmola often pretended to be from Mascoutah, the indictment said.

Sunmola scammed a Bond County woman into buying electronics and shipping them to him, reshipping electronics he had bought using stolen credit card information and taking out cash advances on a credit card, the indictment added. She was forced into bankruptcy, eventually owing at least $98,000.

One unnamed resident of Mascoutah was tricked into buying a webcam and posing “in a sexually suggestive position”, then blackmailed by Sunmola, prosecutors said. He emailed a video to her and relatives and threatened to post the pictures online, telling “the woman that by the time he was done with her she would want to kill herself” if she didn’t keep sending him money, prosecutors said.

Another was tricked into cashing fake traveller’s checks for Sunmola, caught and charged, the US attorney’s office said.

Sunmola was indicted on November 20 on eight felony counts of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud and extortion, but the indictment was not sealed until last month, to aid Sunmola’s extradition.
Sunmola, originally of Lagos, Nigeria, currently lives in South Africa and was arrested as he was preparing to board a British Airlines flight from Heathrow Airport to Johannesburg.

The US attorney’s office in Southern Illinois worked with the US Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the US Secret Service and the Illinois attorney general’s office, which referred the case to prosecutors.

Another Nigerian man, Adagun Moshood Olalekan, was indicted by the same office March 4, and accused of a similar scam. He has been arrested by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and is awaiting extradition, prosecutors said

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August 14, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. is this the one who stolen from me 1000 dollars???

    Comment by manafu virginica | August 14, 2014 | Reply

  2. So glad to hear that!!!

    Comment by hanna | August 14, 2014 | Reply


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