Feeds

419ers strip lonely heart mum of £80k

Handsome US soldier actually Lad from Lagos

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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." ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.