A Nigerian scam artist duped a 66-year-old woman out of $500,000 on ChristianMingle.com, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Understandable mistake: they said “Find God’s Match For You,” he heard “Find God’s Nice Older Lady To Financially Ruin.” You know, simple misunderstanding.
Apparently, the gentleman-criminal wooed the San Jose divorcee with “phone calls, text messages, and flowers,” before romantically revealing that it would be extremely helpful if she could invest half a million dollars in an oil rig. And the woman, as a good Christian and person who is not that good at the Internet, obliged, refinancing her house and dipping into her retirement fund to come up with the cash. She was just trying to help the guy — supposedly a UK citizen working on a Scottish oil rig — realize his oily dreams.
But after wiring several installments of oil-rig funding, culminating in a $200,000 transfer to a Turkish bank account, the woman started to get a sense that perhaps this wasn’t the kind of ChristianMingling she’d signed up for and contacted authorities. They put a freeze on the account, caught the guy who tried to withdraw the cash — an “associate of the suspect,” according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office — and, most importantly for the woman, got her the money back.
The main scammer is still out there, though, free to ChristianMingle his way into the hearts and wallets of pious ladies interested in the oil industry. Be careful out there, folks! And remember, there are no Nigerian princes out there and you should never send them money.
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