The woman, who only wants to be known as Jenny, is the first known WA romance fraud victim to receive any money back.
(Sunday Alamba / AP) FESTAC, Nigeria — As patient as fishermen, the young men toil day and night, trawling for replies to the e-mails they shoot to strangers half a world away. But the few who actually reply make this a tempting and lucrative business for the boys of Festac, a neighborhood of Lagos at the center of the cyber-scam universe.
Most recipients hit delete, delete, delete, delete without ever opening the messages that urge them to claim the untold riches of a long-lost deceased second cousin, and the messages that offer millions of dollars to help smuggle loot stolen by a corrupt Nigerian official into a U. The targets are called maghas — scammer slang from a Yoruba word meaning fool, and refers to gullible white people.
Muyiwa Obafeni appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.
He was found guilty on nine fraud charges, and one of conspiracy to commit fraud.
Defence attorney Howard Andrews said Obafeni wished to compensate the victim for his financial losses, as an indication of remorse.
However, the magistrate ruled that this was not true remorse, and that Obafeni only wished to do so now that he had been found guilty and was about to be sentenced.
"I was simply looking for companionship after my divorce and never thought there would be such cruel con artists looing to capitalise on loneliness."When he was wanting to send his money back via me, I realised there was something really wrong here and asked some questions and ended up with [police] Project Sunbird, who confirmed it was a scam." Detective Sergeant Dom Blackshaw has confirmed that the major fraud squad has been working with Nigerian police, who have arrested a suspect and charged him with obtaining money under false pretences."It's our fourth arrest working with the Nigerians - there's been a lot of cooperation between us," he said."The advice we've been given from the Nigerians is that he is part of a wider group and they invariably always work in syndicates."Detective Sergeant Blackshaw said the arrest stemmed from police lifting fingerprints off a document the scammer sent to Jenny, which matched a person known to the Nigerian police.
Jenny said she had resigned herself to the fact that she would never see the money again and felt like she had won the lottery after her bank agreed to recall several payments of money she sent to the conman."I've got it - it's safely tucked away in my bank," she said."When I learnt I had been defrauded, I put a recall on the funds and I have maintained contact with the overseas banks since that time in different channels, just assuring them that it was fraud."I sent three payments and I got two repayments back in the same amounts, so I got two phone calls back saying the money is here."I feel very lucky; a bit like winning the lottery."Jenny said the scammers prey on people who are vulnerable."I guess that was my question, how could I have fallen for that?
A Perth woman who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in a Nigerian online romance scam has recovered part of the money after a police investigation.
The ABC understands she has recovered about 0,000, or 40 per cent of the money she transferred overseas.
Together, Dennis and Mtseke falsely informed the victim that an additional R21 740 was needed to ensure Dennis's safe travel to Joy with the trust money.