Feeds

419ers strip lonely heart mum of £80k

Handsome US soldier actually Lad from Lagos

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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." ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.