It’s bad enough to be scammed by a fake boyfriend, but then to be scammed by the fake police, too?

Who Is It Targeting: Victims of romance scams

What Is It: An additional scam that steals even more money

What Are They After: Just when you think scammers can’t get any lower… One senior citizen was duped out of around $40,000 by a romance scam originating in West Africa. When she realized she’d been cheated, she kept quiet about it out of embarrassment.

Later, she was contacted by the Nigerian authorities who informed her that they’d apprehended her scammer and were returning her money to her. All she had to do was pay the taxes, fees, investigation expenses, even bribes to local officials. She did, hoping for justice and the return of her money. Instead, the “police” in this case were most likely her original scammer. She spent a total of $400,000 and is now destitute.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Step one is to avoid romance scams in the first place.
  • Be smart about your interactions online, and never, ever send a stranger money, no matter what excuse they give.
  • You will never have to pay money in a police investigation if you’re the victim of the crime.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Toronto Sun.