What began as an online romance with a 40-something from Nebraska ended abruptly after a Yorkville woman wired $1,050 to two people in Nigeria, police said.
Now, Yorkville Deputy Police Chief Dave Schwartzkopf said he hopes the tale prevents others from falling victim to online financial scams.
“That grandmother scam is coming back,” Schwartzkopf said. “The Nigerian scam has been around forever; I get them here.”
The Yorkville woman met “Dave Johnson” through an online dating site and communicated with him by telephone, text message and instant message, Schwartzkopf said. She never met him in person, but he told her he was going to Nigeria to settle his parents’ estate.
On March 30, she sent $200 through Western Union to Oluwole Ayoriee in Nigeria. Ayoriee, she was told, was a hotel manager who was going to pass the funds onto “Johnson,” according to Schwartzkopf.
There was a similar story for the $850 she wired to Adekunle Lawal in Nigeria on April 4, Schwartzkopf said. Then, “Johnson” asked her to send $2,000.
“She advised him that she could not come up with the money,” Schwartzkopf said. “He then advised he would lose Internet access where he was at, and he was a dead man because he owed the hotel man money.”
The last time she heard from him was April 11, the same day she reported the information to Yorkville police. Schwartzkopf said there is little police could do to help her recover the money, although police did inform the dating service of the apparently fraudulent account.