Looking for love has its challenges, but one California divorcee had no idea what she was in for when she starting speaking with a man she met on a popular dating website — and ended up being swindled out of $500,000.
The unnamed 66-year-old woman from San Jose, Calif., reportedly met the man on Christian Mingle, a popular faith-based site for believers who are looking for a soul mate. He told her he was an Irish citizen working on a Scottish oil-rig, but the reality was quite different, The Christian Post reported.
The man, who went by the name “David Holmes,” ended up being a Nigerian conman who walked away with hundreds of thousands of her hard-earned dollars.
“You get the love drug in you and you end up getting duped,” Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Cherie Bourland told KCBS radio. “There had been phone calls. He [the con man] did not seem to have a Nigerian accent. He sent her flowers, but they never met in person.”
And the woman must have been smitten, because she ended up complying with two large-scale requests.
First, the conman asked for $300,000 to be wired as a loan. Not having this money on hand, the woman reportedly refinanced her house and took from her retirement account.
Then, she sent a separate sum of $200,000, which she inevitably put a freeze on and later recovered after it was sent to a Turkish bank.
Police in Turkey inevitably arrested a man named Wisdom Onokpite, a Nigerian national, who had showed up at the bank to collect the money.
Onokpite isn’t the individual who has been communicating with the woman, but he is a close associate, according to authorities.
Tracking her missing $300,000, though, will be difficult, as it is untraceable. It is possible that Onokpite’s connection to the conman could yield some results, but there’s no guarantee that this will unfold.
Authorities say there is only a 1 percent chance that the victim will get the money back.
Christian Mingle makes it clear in its guidelines that sending money to people one meets on its platform is never recommended.
(H/T: Christian Post)
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