Georgina’s children signed her up to Facebook and gave her some basic lessons on how to use it.
‘They told me everyone was using it and that it would help us keep in touch. They showed me how I could see pictures of my grandchildren and I thought it was marvellous technology.’
Not long after, Georgina received a friend request from a serviceman on peacekeeping duties in Afghanistan. She decided to accept the request and allowed ‘Jim’ to be her Facebook friend. It didn’t start as a romance but he said he was lonely and looking for friends to keep him company while he was stuck on duty in the middle of nowhere.SOON
‘He then said he was being posted to Nigeria but his time in the U.S military was nearly finished. He sent me pictures which I now know were stolen from someone on the internet. He kept saying he couldn’t wait for us to be together. We became very close and heEMAILED ME
The scammer told Georgina he liked gemstones and wanted to set up a little jewellery store when heRETIRED
He told Georgina he was coming to see her but had some trouble with hisBANK
‘All was proceeding well until his stopover in Malaysia. Customs officials seized the gemstones and demandedPAYMENT
Georgina sent the money to Malaysian officials but was told Jim was now in gaol for smuggling and that she needed to contact his lawyer.
‘The lawyer said he needed to get an Anti-terrorism and Money LaunderingCERTIFICATE
Georgina sent the money but then Jim said there was another government official demanding payment to extend hisVISA
‘Almost every day I was contacted with a new demand for money. They sent me certificates signed by officials, forms toFILL OUT
Even when Georgina ran out of money the demands didn’t stop. Unsure of what to do, Georgina finally talked to the police. They explained that her experience included the common features of a dating and romance scam and it would be very unlikely she would get her money back. She can’t help feeling in her heart that she let Jim down but she knows in her head it was all a scam.
*The story above is based on one or more real scamREPORTS