back to article Romeo 419ers take Canadian women for $300k

Nigerian fraudsters have relieved a number of Edmonton women of a total of $300,000 in what the local Sun describes as "an online dating scam". One unnamed middle-aged divorcee - who admitted to losing "a lot" of money - was baited last September by a text message purportedly from a US businessman buying antiques in Nigeria. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how does someone that fucking retarded

    come to have $300k to give away in the first place?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The dumb and...

    their money are soon parted

    FFS, duh

  3. JasonW

    "You think you're smarter than [the crooks], but you're not. It can happen to anyone."

    Cobblers - it can only happen to the desperate and gullible. Should be jailed for her own safety (at her expense of course).

  4. Anonymous Coward

    er...HELLO... anyone home !!!!

    People who are stupid enough to get caught by this should be banned from using a PC and not be allowed to manage their own finances.

    What a complete numpty!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Stupid. No sympathy.

    I would be suspicious if somebody in my family ended up getting cash of that amount off me, let alone some guy I'd never heard of who lived in Nigeria.

    The fact that she had $300k to start with is astonishing, as she clearly doesn't have the social skills to earn that kind of money.

  6. Dave


    'It could happen to anyone'. rofl.

    A fool and their money etc etc etc.

  7. Peter Kay

    'They're not like your partner in life'

    That, basically, is when you should start running. Friends and partners should have a life, be unavailable and get annoyed at you at some point.

    It's not fun to be single in the long term, but for &deity; 's sake, go out and find your own life..

  8. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    This is why... affairs are better than real life (it all depends on one's perspective).

    "It can happen to anyone" No. Just to dumbass.


  9. Paul

    How long until...

    ...people have had enough and start agreeing to meet scammers to hand over money just so they can beat the shit out of them? :)

  10. AC

    "It can happen to anyone."

    Let me correct that for you...

    "It can happen to anyone who's brain dead, moronic, gullible and an anti-asset to the gene pool."

    Sorry Canadian douche, you have NO sympathy from me.

    But I would like to see the nigerian scammers hanged in all fairness.

  11. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    Oh dear

    The victim concluded: "You think you're smarter than [the crooks], but you're not. It can happen to anyone."

    Um, no, the rest of us aren't idiots, sorry.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes a change...

    ...that this victim wasn't motivated by blind greed. What some people will do for love. Much cheaper to be a sociopath.

  13. Gav

    Who is the smart one?

    "You think you're smarter than [the crooks], but you're not."

    And there lies the common factor in most these scams; Westerners who think that where they live automatically makes them smarter than some simple African. And of course, all good con men play on this. They know that if their mark believes they're smarter than them it becomes all the easier to scam them.

    This woman was warned but still fell for it. So little sympathy.

  14. lansalot
    Thumb Up


    As it happens, her plight has touched me. I am familiar with the ne'er do wells in question, and I can get all her money returned to her.

    For this service, I will need $15,000 cash - up front. Do we have a deal ?

  15. Dark Ian

    People are no longer encouraged to take responsibility for their actions

    "They took my life, basically"

    No, they asked, you gave away. This does not make you a 'victim'.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    IT tin men

    Am I the only one reading The Reg who actually has some basic human compassion, and feels sorry for these people?

    Yes they're naive and foolish, and perhaps not as smart as all the clever arse posters on here laughing at them, but since when was intelligence a lifestyle choice?

    Sometimes you lot make me ashamed to say I'm a Register reader.

  17. g e


    DEAL!!! I'll take you up on that!

    However I need to get to the bank in person to withdraw the cash. As I have an offshore bank account in Virgin Isles and another in Hawaii would you mind sending me the 25k I need to arrange plane tickets and stopover accommodation to make the withdrawals?

    Your trusted friend


  18. Sweep

    Heartless bunch

    I normally have zero sympathy for the victims of these scams- the majority of them simply got buggered by their own greed. But come on guys, it's just a lonely middle aged divorcee who was a bit too trusting and gullible.

    Being a bit dense doesn't make you a bad person.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    There's nothing like a story like this to bring unsympathetic bastards crawling out of the woodwork to post snide comments.

    She's a crime victim FFS. If she was a victim of street crime, would you condemn her for not being able to resist a mugger?

    Would you like one of your relatives to fall for such a scam/? Ar you sure that an expected inheritance isn't disappearing abroad courtesy of Western Union?

  20. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Re IT tin men

    Yes, you are the only one. Probably. Look, for how long did I beg that some form of natural selection should punish stupidity? Eventually, this is another case where someone was hurt - $300k - for it's own naivety.

    AC, if you've got any spare shame, please feel free and use it on my behalf.


  21. joe K

    Tough luck

    I usually don't fall for scams, despite the numerous opportunities to do so these days. Recently though, I got an email from a friend from abroad saying she was in the UK briefly but had been robbed losing her passport, phone , and all her money, and was stuck in hotel as couldn't pay bill. She then said she needed £2500 urgently and would return it soon as she returned home. I replied immediately asking for more information and providing my phone number so she could call me back on it. The next day another email , this time really from her, came saying her Yahoo account had somehow been hijacked and all her friends had been sent this message. I'm not sure about how whoever did it was going to try and extract the money from me ( or us ), but I was not thinking about a scam when I got the email, it was only concern and I was prepared to help a friend in trouble.

  22. Winkypop Silver badge

    One born every day...

    "The victim concluded: "You think you're smarter than [the crooks], but you're not. It can happen to anyone."

    Speak for yourself lady!

  23. Justabloke
    Thumb Down

    re: IT Tin Men

    I'm with you...

    And seriously, hands up everyone who's never made a mistake? Never thought to themselves afterwards.. "whoops! I was a bit of dick there..."

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. al
    Paris Hilton

    Revenge of the darker sex ?

    For ages, it has been women taking lonely men for a ride [pun unintended]. Perhaps in the era of absolute equality this had to happen someday.

    Paris, coz she has taken many rides [pun intended, this time].

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Stupid. No sympathy.

    >The fact that she had $300k to start with is astonishing, as she clearly doesn't have the social skills to earn that kind of money.

    Oi, dog breath, you have the analytical skill of half a dead goldfish and I'll bet your momma looks like a constipated orang-utan. I'm worth a damn sight more than $300k, hell that's not even real money, and I have bugger all social skills. However I have been told by various people that I'm rather clever in both an intellectual and worldy sort of way. So please don't try to tar us introverts with the same brush as your common old garden idiot.

    Re: IT Tin Men


  27. bluesxman

    RE: IT tin men

    "Am I the only one reading The Reg who actually has some basic human compassion, and feels sorry for these people?"


    I have some sympathy for her. She didn't deserve to be ripped off, as others have intimated.

    However, that doesn't mean I don't think that there's a little too much chlorine in that gene pool.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    The first posters here are idiots... did you not read the article? SHE didn't lose all $300k, there were several dumbass single women that handed over plenty of cash each.


    Perhaps I can help you, as I too know the perps... I'll just need 25% of your takings, in non-sequential paper money!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I happen to have $15,000 dollars in my Zimbabwean bank, and for a small consideration can release it to you.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 12:16

    Namby Pamby

  31. Andus McCoatover
    Thumb Down


    This is STILL happening?

    Gordon Bennet, just cut Nigeria off the web. What do they need it for? Recipes on cooking Maize? How to start a war?? How to rite inglis gramar?

    (Or could filter out emails sent with CAPITAL LETTERS)

    Woman's a numpty. With 300K of (I guess) hubbie/inheritance money. She can't possibly have earned it on her own, being that fuc*king retarded...

    Boo fuc*king hoo. total FAIL!!!

  32. Mike


    it's just the stupid greedy people who get 419'd and I have no sympathy for them because their greed takes away their common sense, but in this case she has my pity.

  33. John H Woods Silver badge

    @AC 12:16

    You are not the only one, so don't be ashamed. Even smart people make stupid mistakes, and it's very easy to let your heart rule your head. Also the trouble with these stories is -- of necessity -- they leave out a lot of the detail, so it's harder to see why apparently intelligent people have fallen for these scams.

    I suspect that anyone who thinks they are invulnerable to a con is probably an easy mark, even if they couldn't be caught by this particular type of fraud.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    @ AC

    "Am I the only one reading The Reg who actually has some basic human compassion, and feels sorry for these people?"

    Yes. Yes, you are.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Whoah - RTFA

    a number of Edmonton women of a total of $300,000


    That ONE woman wasn't scammed out of CA$300,000 - it's was an unspecified number of women scammed out of that much in total.

    Basically you're looking at a group of lonely women who were desperate to believe they'd found love and got suckered for it. The article doesn't cover just how much "buttering up" the scammers had done... we could be talking about a "relationship" that lasted many months before the begging letters began.

    Were they stupid? Possibly. Naive? Probably. But they were suckered because they wanted to believe... maybe they just weren't as cynical and world-weary as the rest of us.

    One of these days I really will win the Dutch Lottery in a form of divine cosmic irony; I'll not receive a cent because I tell them to "F right off the dirty scamming bum holes"...

    Alien? Because "Trust no one"

  36. Yorkshirepudding

    sorry but....

    cant feel sorry for people who are stupid. im crap at maths but dont expect people to get the violin out. no symphathy sorry

    @AC a much better death would be a 1000 paper cuts and then being tossed into a vat of salt. delicious!

  37. Paul


    You're clearly a scammer, I offer a far superior service for $10,000.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Casting the first stone

    I wouldn't be so quick to judge her. Nor do I think her intelligence is in question. Let me tell you a little story.

    You see, I met the woman who is now my wife on a web personals page, almost twelve years ago now. The trouble was that I was living in Australia, and she was located here in Massachusetts. Still, we corresponded (email and phone calls) for almost six months before I was able to come here and see her. We clicked right away, I moved here a year later, and we got married. I've never regretted it. Admittedly, things were different twelve years ago: there probably weren't the 419 scammers and the rest of the bastards, but both of us still took a huge risk. We're lucky it worked out.

    When you talk to someone for that long, and to that level of intimacy, you're making quite an emotional investment, and I can see how hard it would be to give it up. Yes, she should have got suspicious when he asked for money. She should have got suspicious when she found he was in Nigeria. But she didn't. I don't think it's her fault.

    Love is blind. Don't assume _you_ wouldn't fall for anything like this.

  39. Alistair
    Dead Vulture

    Another one shocked by these comments

    Oh you clever clever Reg commentards - oh no you are far more clever than this victim for she must be some kind of idiot not to work in IT and be a commentard - only idiots get conned so she must be.

    I take pity on you, commentards, for having lived such a narrow life.

    This poor woman has been cruelly cheated and you laugh at her.

    May your electrons lose their spin.

  40. Anonymous John

    @ Tough luck

    That's quite a common one. Your friend had probably fallen for a phishing scam email, and entered her logon details on a fake site. You would have been asked to send the money by Western Union.

    I've no idea how successful a scam it is,. but there must be some victims.

  41. Peter

    You are kidding, right?

    The victim concluded: "You think you're smarter than [the crooks], but you're not. It can happen to anyone."

    Uh, no, only to people who are so ignorant or foolish that they will fall for an obvious scam!

  42. Dark Ian

    Cruelly cheated?

    Natural selection is having trouble getting through with today's H&S bs. Perhaps now she'll starve to death, or she's lucky someone will find her beforehand and finish her off with a shovel.

    Good luck to the 419ers - they're simply using Western technology and social engineering to destroy fat greedy Yanks.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    @Another one shocked by these comments

    don't need to be in IT to see these women are idiots - their naivety definitely classifies them as idiots in my book. No sympathy whatsoever.

    Cruelly cheated? Yes - for being a moron.

    Luckily most people are morons - makes life that much more fun for the rest of us.

    Paris because - well...moron!

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward RE: Sympathy

    I have no sympathy for a stupid person playing on a roof and falling through killing themselves, so why should I feel sympathetic for someone that is just as stupid?

    But she was a victim of crime? She is the one that gave her money away... emotional ransom? hardly.

    So, her stupidity is the fact that she was a victim to this obvious scam.

  45. mike

    Nigerian Police!?

    The Nigerian Police will probably be arresting a poor unsuspecting goat on these charges.

  46. J-Wick

    It's a shame...

    No, it really is. Though I am somewhat amused, it's still a terrible thing to go through.

    Can't not feel bad, though perhaps smirk inwardly....

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One day you too will be this stupid!

    Quite possibly. It happens to a lot of people.

    My great-aunt wasn't stupid when she was young; she taught maths and physics and was quite sharp. However, when she got older she suffered from Alzheimer's and on a couple of occasions was persuaded to part with money she shouldn't have parted with. Later a power of attorney was set up and she was no longer allowed to sign her own cheques, but there was a period during which she would have been very vulnerable to conmen and scammers.

  48. David Eddleman

    Happened to me too

    Get these all the time. I like to make it interesting by asking them to do really bizzare stuff. Stuff that requires mindbleach. Gotta have fun with 'em, hey? If you're desperate enough to try and scam someone, be prepared to deal with the mental scars it might bring. =)

    (And no, I never gave them any money. I like to string 'em along by promising money, gets them really worked up.)

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    She's right

    "You think you're smarter than [the crooks], but you're not. It can happen to anyone."

    I think this quote if fairly insightful actually. If you pay close attention you'll see that she admits she thought she was smarter than [the crooks], but wasn't. And that can happen to anyone, except presumably the smartest person in the world. That doesn't mean you or I would fall for that particular scam, but it's entirely possible we could be outsmarted by someone.

  50. J


    Yeah, it is sad... As pointed out before, she did it for love (desperation/loneliness/whatever), not greed as is usually the case in these scams. Remember Reagan's neurosurgeon? Lost more than a million, if I remember correctly.

    And I'd like to know:

    - how many of the heartless commentards here have their money taken by the con-men in churches... Happens a lot, 10% being a common figure.

    - how many are scammed in person, you know... You marry someone who will later go away with half of your stuff. Seems to happen quite frequently.

    On the other hand, she might just have been a perfect Christian, as commanded by Luke 6:30. If there are any Christians reading these El Reg pages here, please let me know and I'll send you some banking details for you to send me your money. Other material goods accepted too, if interesting. If I ask, you can't deny. Otherwise you go to hell (hence flames).

  51. Graham


    "Yes. Yes, you are."

    No. No he's not, you insufferable git.

  52. Ascylto

    Job Vacancy

    This woman should be recruited by the UK Government. She lost only 300,000. Most of our Ministers can lose that amount in ten minutes, not three months!

  53. Trevor

    And from me home town!

    Ouch. It stings when something like this hits anywhere near home.

  54. Anonymous Coward

    Crazy little thing called love

    It’s been medically proven (Karachi Medical Gazette) that when you fall in love, you go crazy! Crazy I tell you! All cognitive reasoning goes out the window!

    It’s the giblets you know. They go crazy for the giblets!

  55. Roger Heathcote


    @ac "Sometimes you lot make me ashamed to say I'm a Register reader."

    Here, here. Some people are just thick, that's often not their fault and unless they then go on to be a deliberately malignant arse you should feel sorry for them not gloat about your superior reasoning.

    50% of people have an IQ <=100, people here seem to think they need be rounded up and shot or something. I swear it's getting harder to distinguish this El Reg's comments pages from those of the Daily Mail every day :-/

    Roger Heathcote.

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