Feeds

419ers strip lonely heart mum of £80k

Handsome US soldier actually Lad from Lagos

Seven Steps to Software Security

A divorced mother of three was taken for £80,000 by 419ers posing as a US soldier, the Daily Mail reports.

Kate Roberts, 47, of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, was hooked when she posted a profile on Friends Reunited Dating in October 2009.

She was soon "exchanging emails with a man calling himself Sergeant Ray Smith and chatting to him several times a day on MSN Messenger".

Smith claimed to be a US soldier serving in Iraq, sadly widowed with an 11-year-old daughter. The gang provided pictures of the apparently "muscle-bound" soldier and his "daughter" to bait the trap, and began to reel in their victim with an initial request for £225 for a phone line.

Then, "a man with an American accent calling himself Mark began ringing her almost every day," the Mail continues.

Roberts said: "I did have doubts, but everything he told me sounded reasonable and I was in love. He told me he couldn’t tell me much about his job for security reasons and I accepted that."

In a textbook operation, the scammers then ramped up the requests for cash, including one for £20,000 to buy the "leave passes" Smith needed to be united with his cyberlove.

In total, Roberts coughed up £80,000 in "regular payments of thousands via Western Union". She "even paid cash directly into what she believed was his bank account as he told her he had no money".

The sad truth was revealed when she organised £12,000 for "one of his friends to pay for his airfare to Britain and he suddenly stopped contacting her".

Roberts explained: "One day he just stopped emailing me and didn’t call me. I drove down to an army base in Cambridgeshire, which he’d told me he had been in for three years, but they had never heard of him. I called the police and my phone company traced the phone he had used back to a mobile number in Nigeria."

The victim was later forced to sell her home to pay off the debts she racked up at the hands of the Lads from Lagos.

She concluded: "Aside from losing the money I feel like I’ve lost the love of my life. I know he wasn’t real, but the feelings were real to me and that’s very difficult to come to terms with. Hundreds of other women must be getting conned right now." ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.