Reports have it that a group of Nigerians in South Africa running an online dating scam network have swindled over R70 million from women since they started operating from Pretoria.
The Internet fraud syndicate reportedly started their romance and credit card scams in 2009, and have from Pretoria, swindled many ladies living in UK, US and Canada who are looking for love and life partners.
For instance, there’s this case of a Nigerian Man (Olayinka Ilumsa Sunmola) who posed as a US soldier on various online dating sites in-order to lure lonely ladies. He met one of his victims, an American woman on one of such dating site and they talked online for eight months.
He made her believe that he’s a US soldier stationed in South Africa. She then made several money transfer to him believing he’s her future husband irrespective of the fact that she had never met him in person.
Another victim, a 46-year-old widowed mother of three took a R65000 overdraft to help Sunmola after he called her claiming that his 14-year-old daughter was in jail and that he needed $4000 for her bail.
The widowed mother narrated that she met Sunmola online as Dr Louvel D’Artagnan, a gynecologist working in South Africa and Yemen through Doctors Without Borders (MSF). According to her, she googled his name and found all his credentials and qualifications and they all appeared to be legitimate.
MSF however, told BuzzSouthAfrica that “Louvel D’Artagnan has never worked for MSF either in South Africa or Yemen…we have no association with him whatsoever,” they stated.
Following the increasing incidents of the crime, Hawks working with the US and UK authorities launched an operation against the crime, and in their first phase operation, arrested 11 Nigerians who they extradited to US.
Meanwhile, it was disclosed that the police is currently investigating a similar syndicate operation in south Africa targeting local women.