Woman loses $50k in Nigerian email scam

| 28/07/2015 | 28 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): A woman has lost $50,000 after sending it to an online conman in Nigeria via a money transfer service, the police have said. Warning residents to be vigilant as there is very little the RCIPS can do to investigate, let alone apprehend, internet criminals based in the West African country, the Financial Crimes Unit urged people not to respond to unsolicited emails promising cash.

Police said that the woman who made the report sent the cash in several money transfers over the last 12 months via Western Union to Nigeria.

Ironically, that money transfer service closed its doors Friday in what could be the beginning of the end for this type of international cash dispatch service.

Watch video report: Cash transfer services hang in balance

The woman appears to have been sucked in by an unsolicited email claiming to be from the American tax authorities telling her she was entitled to a substantial tax rebate, but as part of the scam the conman asked for advance fees before the money could be refunded. Taking the scam email seriously, the woman paid the requested “fees” in several transfers overseas amounting to $50,000. It is not clear why she sent money to Nigeria for what she believed was the refund of taxes paid in the United States nor have police indicated whether the woman was an American national.

The woman told police, however, that the conman she corresponded with over the scam tax-windfall went by the name Richard Aje but, stating the obvious, the FCU said this may not be his real name.

“Chances are very low that the suspect can be traced or apprehended, as there is no working investigation practice or extradition treaty in place between Nigeria and the Cayman Islands,” the RCIPS warned. “The Financial Crimes Unit (FCU) reminds the public that unsolicited emails promising funds and asking for advance payments to release the funds or asking for account numbers or personal information of any kind are highly suspect and should never be responded to.”

Officers from the FCU are asking anyone who receives these types of emails, which are increasingly common, to forward them to RCIP.FCU@gov.ky.

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Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Knot S Smart-I have specially adapted deep sea bridge bricks and kryptonite bridge girders for sale. All guaranteed Hurricane, Earthquake and Cayman Politician proof. If its a big order will give you a discount. Just $10m downpayment to my Seychelles bank account secures the lot!

  2. Anonymous says:

    If she’s not smart enough to see through the scam, she deserves it. How can someone fall for this scam? It’s been going on from the early email days

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a white person, I object to the racist portrayal of the scammer in the picture that you’ve put with this article.

    • The Queen of West Bay says:

      As a white person, you appear to be very self-absorbed. The scammer could be Latino, Native-American, Asian or a person who is multi-ethnic. White people have done many disgusting things, but today is your lucky day to not feel any guilt.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, she’s not the only one that is or has been duped of thousands of dollars on the island.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why the Hell would Western Union send that type of money to Nigeria? Did they not ask any questions?

    • Anonymous says:

      What sort of questions? “Dear Miss are you really that stupid?”

    • Anonymous says:

      Western union FIFA Mac status grants Ritz debt to govt……and the list goes on because NO, Nobody asks any questions.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is an saying, “a fool and his money are soon parted”. I mean come on, in this day and age I thought by now people would notice red flags when it comes to scammers, and what countries they are contacting you from, which in this case Nigeria. I’ve seen many suspicious emails sent to my junk mail and sometimes text messages about I’ve won X amount of money due to some kind of inheritance because a person has died leaving millions, and that I must provide my personal information in order to receive those funds. Every time I see these types of emails, my radar is always on because why would someone out of the blue, you haven’t even heard of want to send you millions of dollars, from another side of the world? People need to think before they move and do a lot investigations. My advice is, whenever you receives these types of emails, I would suggest that you all get in contact with the financial crime branch via phone or emails, so that they could do their due diligence. No one in an Island that has strict banking laws, and educated people should ever fall prey to these types of scams, and like I’ve said earlier, need to think before we move, and always use your gut feelings.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes you have to swim in your own p….

  8. Anonymous says:

    I want to know who the woman is, where she lives, and where she works, so I could come up with a Caymanian scam. Maybe, I’ll be $50k richer…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same way criminals are able to launder money? In the space of about 5 minutes I overheard about 3 persons refused to transfer funds by the clerk because they would exceed their limit of $3000 per month. I see now why they want to close down these Money Transfer offices.

  10. Neaves retired says:

    How truly sad people still falling victim to this type of scam. Saying that Cayman has the distinction of being the only jurisdiction to ever carry out a successful sting operation led by detective sergeant Powell against a Nigerian advance fee 419 scam. Which netted 3 very senior Nigerian officials who were successfully prosecuted in your courts. Back then of course we had capable police officers under the direction of Superintendent David Gooding and Chief Inspector John Boaden Nowadays all we have a lot of fancy names & titles and experts who talk a lot but accomplish very little in the way arrest or convictions.

  11. Anonymous says:

    You canna fix stupid

  12. gray matter says:

    Dummer than dumm.

  13. Knot S Smart says:

    Scams like this will make it a lot more difficult for me to pre-sell the bridge that I am going to build from Cayman to London…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Stupid + greedy = Dangerous combination

  15. Anonymous says:

    What’s that saying? There’s a sucker born every minute…

  16. NoMo ADHD says:

    There is no cure for dumb people!

  17. To quote Ron White - "You can't fix stupid" says:

    Wow, just wow…

  18. Anonymous says:

    You would be surprised to know – the amount of well educated men and women that are “falling in love” over the internet and sending vast sums of money which ends up in different countries in Africa and eastern Europe.

    WARNING: The face you see and the voice you hear may not be the person you believe it to be.

  19. The Sufi says:

    I cannot believe people are still falling for this- for God” s try use some common sense. I don’t even feel sorry for her. How many times does the Police have to warn about this.

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