Lonely Kiwis Targeted by Scammers

Police said that Nigerian scammers are cheating money off lonely, helpless Kiwis, with false promises of marriage or huge amount of money. A Porirua woman recently lost $10,000 to the scam, and an Auckland woman $70,000 and police believe many other people may have also been cheated. Detective senior sergeant Darrin Thomson said those using online dating agencies should be extra careful about disclosing their personal bank details and sending money to Nigeria. He said the Porirua woman ‘met’ one of the ‘scammers’ on a dating site. “He told her that he was a widower, and employed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in Lagos. “The man used two types of scams to extort $10,000 from her. In one scam he emailed her a business letter identifying US$200,000 he had deposited in a US bank account. “He stated that he needed a UK bank account in order to release his US funds. The woman paid $3000 to open an account in London, transferring the funds to Nigeria.” Thomson said she was then told that the man’s daughter was ill and he urgently needed money to pay for medical fees. The Porirua woman then transferred more money to Nigeria. Police believe the same scammer is responsible for extorting almost $70,000 from an Auckland woman. Australian figures show Nigerian scammers defraud A$36 million a year from Australian internet users. Queensland Police contacted 139 people who sent money to Nigeria – 135 were victims of fraud. “We believe the New Zealand situation is similar to the Australian finding,” Thomson said. Anybody being asked to send money to Nigeria should be very, very wary.”

Source: stuff.co.nz

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