San Jose woman loses $500,000 in online Christian Mingle dating scam
- SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A San Jose woman bilked out of $500,000 by a Nigerian scam artist on a dating website luckily recovered $200,000 from a bank in Turkey, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
The case of the 66-year-old woman conned out of her money through a meeting on ChristianMingle.com should serve as a warning about fraud schemes on international dating sites, Deputy District Attorney Cherie Bourland said.
“You get the love drug in you and you end up getting duped,” Bourland said.
The victim, a divorcee, joined ChristianMingle and befriended a Nigerian man who falsely claimed to be “David Holmes,” an Irish citizen working on a Scottish oilrig, Bourland said.
He used a picture he said was of him but was actually an image of a male model he downloaded from the Internet, Bourland said.
“There had been phone calls,” Bourland said. “He did not seem to have a Nigerian accent. He sent her flowers. But they never met in person.”
The district attorney’s office later discovered through the man’s Skype account and email address that he was living in Nigeria, which is “a hot bed of online scams,” Bourland said.
The scammer convinced the woman to wire him $300,000 as a loan for his oil business, with much of the money coming from her retirement account and funds she received after refinancing her home, prosecutors said.
That money was lost and but soon after she wired another $200,000 for him to a bank in Turkey, the woman contacted the district attorney’s office.
Bourland emailed an adverse claim document to the Turkish bank in an attempt to freeze the funds, she said.
The bank the next day reported that when a man named Wisdom Onokpite, a Nigerian national, came in to withdraw the money, bank officials contacted Turkish National Police, who arrested him on suspicion of committing fraud, Bourland said.
“When we heard someone had been arrested, our mouths dropped,” Bourland said. “It was exciting.”
It turned out that Onokpite was an associate of the dating site conman who had sent him to Turkey to pick up the money for him. The Nigerian going as “David Holmes” remains free, Bourland said.
The victim has only a “1 percent” chance of recovering the remaining $300,000 from overseas because “it’s just impossible to track down” and federal authorities do not get involved in losses below $1 million, Bourland said.
(Link): Pro Ball Player Convicted for Kid Diddling Three Kids Claims to be an Outstanding Christian (and he’s married with a kid of his own) – again, why should Christian single gals limit themselves to only marrying Christian men? The Whole “Being Yoked Equally” thing is irrelevant and unduly limiting for singles
(Link): Why I Now Reject “Be Equally Yoked” – and on Becoming More Agnostic
-(this page also contains many links to news stories with examples of Christian married men who were arrested for rape, murder, or other crimes, and articles about high rates of porno use among Christian men)