Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Facebook romance scam ends in federal prison for two men

Two Nigerian citizens were sentenced Thursday to 36 months in federal prison and could face possible deportation for their participation in a $2 million romance scam that started on Facebook.

Kunle Mutiu Amoo, 49, and Lanre Sunday Adeoba, 62, were ordered to pay a little over $86,000 in restitution, after pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Amoo and Adeoba admitted their involvement in a scam that defrauded victims of money by making false promises or stating romantic overtures that the victims would be repaid.

The defendants pretended to be South African diplomats who needed the victim’s financial assistance to transport money into the United States. The two admitted in their guilty plea that they tried to defraud the victim of $506,000. The victim lost $2 million because of the scam.

Amoo and Adeoba will be in federal custody until they can be moved to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility at a later date.

U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett, who sentenced Amoo and Adeoba, said the two had abused a position of trust by pretending to be diplomats. He also noted the victim suffered severe financial hardship from their actions.

The woman was drawn into the scam after being drawn into an Internet relationship with a man she never met. The two Nigerian men posed as diplomats who were supposedly working with the man on a South African project, according to court documents.

Compared to other Internet-enabled crimes, romance scams result in the largest amount of financial loss among victims, according to the FBI. Victims of these scams, which are classified as confidence frauds, reported nearly $200 million worth of financial losses in 2015, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center

December 23, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nigerian man arrested for exporting $40million scam to the US

Lagos – Six U.S. citizens and a Nigerian national were sentenced Tuesday to federal prison for their roles in online fraud schemes that distributed more than $40 million in counterfeit checks using “mystery shopper” websites and work-from-home scams.

The criminal enterprise was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Funso Hassan, 27, of Ibadan, Nigeria and Anthony Shane Jeffers, 44, of Maryville, Tennessee, were each sentenced to 10 years in prison. Ann Louise Franzen, 70, of Kiln, Mississippi; Gary Melvin Barnard, 64, of Palestine, Texas; Michele Gayle Fee, 55, of Stockton, California; Tanya Lynn Thomas, 52, of Turlock, California; and Shawn Ann White, 44, of Manteca, California, were each sentenced to five years in prison.

In addition to the prison sentences, U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., of the Southern District of Mississippi sentenced each defendant to three years supervised release following completeion of their sentences. Restitution to the victims for all defendants will be determined at a later date. The sentences are the maximum statutory penalty for the charges to which the defendants pleaded.

All seven defendants were members of a large-scale international financial fraud conspiracy that included romance scams through online dating sites, check fraud, secret shopper schemes and personal assistant work-from-home schemes.

Some of the defendants started as romance scam victims only later becoming knowing participants in the counterfeit check fraud. Victims were sent checks with mystery shopper and personal assistant instructions. The checks, which were counterfeit, would bounce after the victims transmited  proceeds to various locations in the United States which were then layered for transmission to Nigeria.

Victims then owed their banks the amount of checks and often hundreds of dollars in bank fees

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Online fraud: Top Nigerian scammer arrested

A Nigerian behind thousands of online scams around the world has been arrested in the southern oil city of Port Harcourt, Interpol alleges.

The 40-year-old man, known only as “Mike” is alleged to head a network of 40 individuals behind global scams worth more than $60m (£45m).

His operations involved using malware to take over systems to compromise emails, as well as romance scams.

Nigeria’s anti-fraud agency was also involved in the arrest.

Africa Live: More on this and other stories

“In one case, a target was conned into paying out $15.4 m (£11m),” Interpol said in a statement.

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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