p2pnet news view | Crime:- Nigerian 419 criminals have been sucking people in for years and you’d think by now, anyone who can read a newspaper, watch TV, listen to the radio or go online would be wise to them.
But apparently not.
The Reverend Janella Spears (no relation) is, reportedly, no fool. And yet she willingly handed hundreds of thousands of dollars to scammers who’d told her George W. Bush was among those who were in on a deal they were proposing.
Earlier this year, a 65-year-old Australian widow, a first-time Net user, was seduced out of $60,000 in successive online romance scams, said p2pnet.
She joining a website for seniors and was approached byJames who was claiming to be an English professor of physics who, “was building a robotic tractor,” said Australia`s Sunday Mail.
But ‘James’ turned out to be one of a gang of Nigerian scammers targeting dating sites.
In this latest scam, Spears emptied her husband’s retirement fund, re-mortgaged their house and took out a loan on the family car to raise the cash, says Katu.com, going on »»»
For Spears, it started, as it almost always does, with an e-mail. It promised $20 million and in this case, the money was supposedly left behind by her grandfather (J.B. Spears), with whom the family had lost contact over the years.
“So that’s what got me to believe it,” she said.
Spears didn’t know how the sender knew J.B. Spears’ name and her relation to him, but her curiosity was piqued.
It turned out to be a lot of money up front, but it started with just $100.
The scammers ran Spears through the whole program. They said President Bush and FBI Director “Robert Muller” (their spelling) were in on the deal and needed her help.
They sent official-looking documents and certificates from the Bank of Nigeria and even from the United Nations. Her payment was “guaranteed.”
Then the amount she would get jumped up to $26.6 million if she would just send $8,300. Spears sent the money.
This went on for more than two years even though, “Everyone she knew, including law enforcement officials, her family and bank officials, told her to stop, that it was all a scam.”
Now, “Spears said it would take her at least three to four years to dig out of the debt she ran up in pursuit of the non-existent pot of Nigerian gold,” adds the story.
Meanwhile, the scammers are getting scammier.
“This is the first time I’ve had a 419 scammer send an initial email and then follow it up with a comment post,” said p2pnet recently.
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p2pnet – Widow scammed in 419 con, January 15, 2008
Sunday Mail – Brisbane widow tricked by online beaus, January 14, 2008
Katu.com – Woman out $400K to ‘Nigerian scam’ con artists, November 17, 2008
p2pnet - US Capt Scotty Duke, 419 scammer, returns, November 3, 2008
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