Be wary of sending money to someone you have never met in person, especially via a wire transfer service, like Western Union or Money Gram, or a prepaid money card, like Green Dot.
Once a person wires money to a foreign country, the money is generally unrecoverable.
“The Internet makes this type of crime easy because you can pretend to be anybody you want to be.
You can be anywhere in the world and victimize people,” she said.
“He was saying all the right things,” she remembered. It’s called a romance scam, and this devastating Internet crime is on the rise.
Then they use what the victims have on their profile pages and try to work those relationships and see which ones develop.” The subsequent investigation led by Beining resulted in the arrest of two Nigerians posing as South African diplomats who had come to the U. to collect money from the woman on behalf of Charlie, who claimed he was paid million for a construction project he completed in South Africa.
It can happen like this: “Maria” signed up for an online dating service and was contacted by “Andrew,” who claimed to be an American overseas on business in Australia.
Maria and Andrew seemed to hit it off and began planning a road trip for that summer when Andrew would come back to the U. Andrew sent Maria a check for ,000 to cover the cost of their trip, but then suddenly asked her to send ,500 back to him because he needed money for rent after being laid off from his job.
The woman believed she would be paying to have the money—including the repayment of her million—transferred to the U. from South Africa, where Charlie was still supposedly working.
In July 2016, the two Nigerian co-conspirators pleaded guilty in connection with their roles in the scam, and a federal judge sentenced them each to 36 months in prison last December.