A FORMER air stewardess has told how she lost her £50,000 life savings to a Nigerian scam that targets UK dating websites.
Divorcee Brenda Parke, 62, believed she was in a phone and email relationship with a blond 46-year-old Dutch widower called Bradford who claimed he was living in Birmingham with his 14-year-old daughter.
But he was really a conman in the Nigerian city of Lagos.
After a month, he claimed he and his daughter had been in a car crash while on a business trip to Africa.
Brenda wired £9,000 for "hospital bills" then £40,000 for "flights" back to the UK, but she went to Birmingham airport and no one arrived.
She says: "My conscience would not let me leave a young girl in that situation so I sent the money."
Brenda reveals her cautionary tale on Channel 4 documentary 419: The Internet Romance Scam - named after the number for fraud in Nigeria's penal code.
Producers later flew to Lagos to interview reformed fraudster Felix Ekpa, who explains: "You put a picture on the website, an age, a profile, but nothing is real.
"When a woman emails, you get them to chat then throw in that you are having problems - been in hospital, a car crash (Felix laughs), an armed robbery, cancer... "
Desperate to believe "Bradford", Brenda, from West Sussex, had driven to the Birmingham address he had given. But a postman told her that no one of that name lived there.
She says: "I was now in a dreadful state - not eating, not sleeping, alone and scared. I felt overwhelmed by my own stupidity."
A second woman, known only as Caroline, tells the show, how she was duped by a man calling himself Sabastine who posed as a Greek-born Brit working in Nigeria.
Furniture painter Caroline, 55, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, says he later confessed his TRUE identity as a Nigerian called Steven - and insisted he was in LOVE with her.
Caroline, feeling vulnerable after the death of her mum, flew to South Africa to share a holiday with him.
She tells the show: "At the airport he had tears in his eyes and I did too. It was really exciting, like Christmas when you were a kid."
They rented a flat in South Africa for three months and she later flew home - before investing £30,000 in supposed oil deals in Africa which police believe never existed.
Amazingly a relationship by phone still continues - as Caroline struggles to meet her bills. She admits: "Sad, isn't it, so late in life? It's insanity."
Leke Adewunmi | 7/28/2011 10:31:38 AM
It is very sad the extent to which some Nigerians have b*****dized this country's name. I think it is a complete waste of time for the government to embark on rebranding campaign without solving the problem of unemployment in the country. There are many things emanating from sources you may not even be able to trace. I think the unemployment problems make people to become desperate to succeed at all costs. One cannot be thinking of buying furniture when the house is on fire, the way I see the re-branding issue. Reply this thread
Yemisi | 7/30/2011 8:27:13 PM |
Na true , oyinbo go , dem mumu ; no be small !
This is very sad and as a woman , my heart goes out to all women who have fallen victims to love-scams like this!
This scam about love-lorn and gullible women falling victims to men ,is happening every day and world-wide.
Especially white women and other foreign women have fallen victim to black men ; Africans and others and definitely not only Nigerian men.
There are loads of broken hearts , shattered lives, sham marriages and fatherless children all over the place as a result of these love scams which have been happening for over 60 years now and have continued to happen till date.
But when will these women ever learn their lessons that they should stop being so cheap and gullible as to believe every and any man who , deceptively says to them , "I LOVE YOU" ?
When will they ever learn not to trust their lives ,their hearts and their money to strange men who they met and fell for on the internet ,in nite clubs , on holidays, or even on the streets?
It is sheer madness , f*****hness and a recipe for disaster to love and trust someone who you cannot verify his identity and his life stories which he has presented to you ;a man who you do not even know the truth about his past or present life or even know his family or where he comes from!
Rosemary Boateng Adjekum | 7/28/2011 10:38:57 AM
Always given the blacks bad names, after he might have fininshed her he now dump her for another, he will never see good if that is how he deals with the women.. Reply this thread
adewale | 7/28/2011 12:24:12 PM
so dis game still real?i dont belive there is maye in that UK Reply this thread
Kings Wath | 7/28/2011 12:41:28 PM
I don't really believe such stories sometimes but if it is true, then let some folks learn from it and again lets stop loosing our prestige as blacks plz Reply this thread
27 calibre | 7/28/2011 1:38:14 PM
nigerians keep on raising your flags in the name of crime and you will be the gians of africa. Reply this thread
docs | 7/28/2011 2:37:21 PM |
s****d f**lS, NIGERIANS ARE ALWAYS ROGUES AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE
meee | 7/28/2011 2:14:53 PM
Did the Ghnanians watch SAINT AND SCOURAGERS this morning on bbc2.A ghanian woman stole a british womans identity studied as a nurse,eventually became a nurse,she ran up a bill of £270k.Isnt that stealing?By the name KATE Mc DOWELL FOORD.gHANIANS SHLD JUST SHUT THE HELL UP.We r all thievies Reply this thread
docs | 7/28/2011 2:41:12 PM |
DONT COOK UP SUCH A STORY TO THROW DUST INTO PPLES EYES BY LYING. WHEN WILL NIGERIANS BE UPRIGHT, DISGRACING AFRICA WHERE EVER THEY ARE. I FEEL SORRY FOR THIS f**lS
MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE | 7/28/2011 7:29:24 PM |
U ghanaians will thief and lied that u're Nigerians,other black countries will thief and claimed that they are nigerians,cos they believed that is only nigeria are know to be thief,Yes we accepted that,but when will U Ghanaians accepted that,they are BIG ROBBERS amongst U,cos there is thief in over the world,period GBAM.
JOHNJOHN | 7/29/2011 2:51:03 AM |
i knew i would find a nigerian trying to bring up ghana to justify there s****dity. anytime something negative happens for nigerians they try and bring up ghana or some excuse other then there own issue. BUT IF its something positive, for intense, omotola did a movie with leila. nigerians on this site where congratulating omotola only. as if it was a nigerian movie. lol funny people. sometimes i cant believe yall are west african... yall come off more like east africans..
9ja Man | 7/28/2011 6:53:28 PM
Nigeria and fraud. Well I love it sha, it pays my bills Reply this thread
mystic | 7/28/2011 8:44:37 PM
nigerians are into............dating scam,lottery scam,money transfer scam,fake cheque,......................so in case u see those their formatte up here..........just hit u delete button..........period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reply this thread
mugun | 7/28/2011 11:47:28 PM
Uk client still sure like dis? hahahahaaha Reply this thread
chinco | 7/29/2011 6:23:07 AM
in every country there are good and bad people.every body is pointing fingers in nigerians . go to places like Dubai, there u will see a Ghanians and camerounians committing crime with Nigerian passport. Reply this thread
jane | 7/29/2011 7:31:55 AM
Nigerians are known for that they will be thiefs for there entire life.thats why i vowered i will never date a nigerian Man,they think that they are clever but they are the most s****d people in the world,May GOD punish them.And women think twice before you befriend a nigerian man,they always cry with there poverty to get whatever they want. Reply this thread
Wilhelmina | 12/7/2011 7:43:40 PM
IJWTS wow! Why can't I think of tnghis like that? Reply this thread