Pinterest Fake UN card Agbonifoayetan to con his victim. The convicted fraudster Agbonifoayetan posed as a diplomat called Christopher Williams and used a forged United Nations diplomatic card to collect money from two women who had been persuaded that a marine called General James Krulak in one case and General James Raul in the other wanted to move to the UK and marry them.
Miles says that after coaxing the victims offline, the typical fraudster will ask for money after a couple of weeks, initially for small amounts. He may say he expects to come to the UK in the coming weeks but plans will be interrupted for some reason — such as a hospital bill being more than expected — and more money will be requested.
Identifying women who have the money to make the fraud worthwhile is the result of an elaborate series of questions designed to elicit the key financial information. In some cases, the victims may be unknowingly talking to more than one person and being asked a set list of questions.
Their operation can be a large-scale skimming exercise, trying the same fraud on 20 or 30 people at any one time in the hope of securing a victim. The social engineering is quite remarkable. These people are very good at recognising opportunities Gary Miles, Falcon unit, Metropolitan police The money, when transferred, sometimes goes through UK or US bank accounts — in order to give the scheme some credibility — but frequently ends up in west African countries including Ghana and Nigeria, Miles says.
Some of the scammers operate in the UK and they are highly organised, with many people working together, although there is no evidence of a single overall structure behind the scams, Miles says. Among the problems the police face in identifying the fraudsters is the stigma attached to falling for such a scheme.
People typically do not believe that they are being scammed, Miles says. In one case, a person who reported a scam told the fraudster she had complained to the police only to then try to withdraw the complaint after being talked down by the fraudster. How do otherwise intelligent people fall for these scams?
Victims, says Miles, are not stupid and may be working in professional jobs. He asked them to pay the transfer fees saying they would be reimbursed. Agbonifoayetan and another suspect met the women a number of times to collect the funds.
She used up her life savings, pawned jewellery, sold her car and took out loans to pay the costs, which were transferred into accounts in Ghana. Police are now seeking a compensation order to recoup some of the money. And you will be showered with compliments.
The fraudster will typically try to coax you offline away from the security of dating sites so they can isolate you. Some weeks after initiating contact, they will ask for money — possibly for an operation or some administration. They may say they they are on the cusp of visiting but something always gets in the way. If it is for a medical procedure, what hospital is the operation taking place in? Who is the doctor? Tell others that you are talking to someone online.
Tell them if you are asked for money.