Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Love Scam: American victim lauds EFCC •Agency recovers $23,886 for victim EFCC arrests another fraudsters for N806m scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been commended   for helping to recover $2000 for an American victim of love scam, Margaret Sanders, just as the agency announce the recovery of $23,886 for another victim.

Sanders who lives in Sherman, Texas, made the commendation after she was presented with a cheque for the sum by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.

She expressed delight at the professionalism demonstrated by the Nigerian agency in helping to recover the money which she thought she had lost to the scammer.

The FBI agent who made the presentation lauded the cooperation with the EFCC, while explaining that the FBI only facilitated the repatriation of the money after it was recovered by the EFCC.

Sanders met a suspected Nigerian fraudster, Benjamin Akugbe, online and fell in love with him. The scammer who claimed to be Benny Brown from Warri, Delta State, promised her marriage, and requested for the sum of $2000.00USD to enable him join her in United States of America.

The money was wired to him through Western Union, into an account with the name, Gladys Ikpoba domiciled with a new generation bank.

After an endless wait for the fiancé, Sanders came to the sad realisation that she had been duped. But her efforts to recover the money were unsuccessful until she petitioned the EFCC.

The latest recovery of $23,886 by the Commission was made in similar circumstances, for Jolanta Kasza, an American based in New York. She was fleeced of $64,000 by a suspected Nigerian Fraudster, Ndekwu Jindu (aka Dr. Daniel Coffman ) in a romance scam.

Kasza allegedly met Coffman online in June 2012, and the fraudster introduced himself as self employed Caucasian pharmacist.

Impressed by the profile, Kasza “fell in love” with both agreeing to get married.

According to her, in the course of the affair, the suspect at different times requested for money under various guise. Before she realised that she was dealing with a con artist, she had lost $64,000 USD to the fraudster.

She consequently petitioned the EFCC, which through discreet investigation recovered $23,886 USD. The agency is in the process of repatriating the fund to the victim.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 arrested three suspected internet fraudsters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State – Okpekereke Timothy, Stanley Odjighere, and Teminor Karo.

The trio are part of a syndicate arrested over allegations of conspiracy, internet scam and stealing from one of the new generation banks to the tune of N806, 208,000.00 (Eight Hundred and Six Million Two Hundred and Eight Thousand Naira). Forty others are still at large.

The theft was perpetrated through a system glitch linked to the fraudsters, in which the bank suffered a huge loss of more than N806, 208,000.

The petitioner, who works in one of the new generation banks, alleged that a review of transactions involving the bank with Interswitch Nigeria limited revealed that the bank was not reimbursed for the transactions consummated on ATM terminals.

He observed that while many of the transactions involved were failed transactions, the amounts involved were not reversed, and all the customers were seen to have withdrawn the cash amounting to the sum, on each day of the occasion it happened.

The EFCC has so far confiscated the following property, which are proceeds of the crime from the suspects who are all within the South-South zone: one uncompleted 59-room self contain hostel, a twin bungalow in Oghara, Delta State, one uncompleted hotel project, one bungalow with a swimming pool in Ughelli, a bungalow in Agbaro , one Toyota Venza 2010 model, two Toyota Solara cars 2010 model, two Toyota Camry cars, 2010 model and two Honda Accord cars, 2005 model.

The suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as investigations are completed.

Meanwhile, another suspected internet fraudster, Emeofa Michael Ikechukwu has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) for allegedly obtaining $100,000 from a Dane, Hengameh Misepasi in a romance scam.

Ikechukwu who also go by the alias, Michael Briggs , was picked up in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, by the Commission’s operatives following a petition from the Nigerian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.

The suspect allegedly met the victim online in February 2013 and falsely represented himself as an American business executive on business visit to Nigeria.

In the course of the internet affair, Ikechukwu promised his victim marriage and later began to make monetary demands on her, using various excuses.

Once, he told her that he had problems with government officials and requested for a loan.

He later cajoled her into partnering with him on a phantom timber business.

The last request he made before he was arrested was a demand for $10,000 to enable him travel to Denmark to meet her.

It was while he was attempting to draw the $100 sent by the victim(instead of the $10,000 requested) through Western Union that he was arrested.

The suspect would be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed, EFCC’s Head, Media & Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren said.


February 19, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Nigerian National Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges in International Conspiracy Case

Gulfport, Miss – Teslim Olarewaju Kiriji, 30, a Nigerian national and one of eighteen defendants indicted in a nine-count federal indictment filed in the Southern District of Mississippi, entered a guilty plea today before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden to conspiracy to commit laundering of monetary instruments, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis.

Kiriji faces a maximum penalty of twenty years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine or twice the value of the property involved. Kiriji admitted to being part of an international organization involved in multiple on-line fraud schemes which included the use of victims’ personal identification, banking and credit information.
The indictment alleges that a West African transnational organized criminal enterprise was involved in numerous complex financial fraud schemes over the internet. This mass marketing fraud included romance scams, reshipping scams, fraudulent check scams, and workat-
home scams along with bank, financial and credit card account take-overs.

The investigation was initiated in October, 2011, by Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) agents in Gulfport after U.S. law enforcement officers were contacted by a female victim in Mississippi who was the victim of a sweetheart scam. The victim received a package in the mail requesting that she reship the merchandise to an address in Pretoria, South Africa. The investigation later revealed that the merchandise was purchased using stolen personal identity information and fraudulent credit card information of persons in the United States. Investigators have identified thousands of victims of this scam in the United States, resulting in the loss of millions of U.S. dollars.

The indictment in this case is the result of an investigation led by the HSI Gulfport office in partnership with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, South African Police Service, Toronto Police, HSI Cyber Crimes Center, Treasury Executive Office of Asset Forfeiture, HSI Ontario, HSI Charleston, Interpol South Africa, HSI Pretoria and HSI Atlanta.
The case in Mississippi is prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Annette Williams and Scott Gilbert along with Robert Tully of the Organized Crime Gang Section of the Department of Justice.

February 19, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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