PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ - Authorities are issuing a warning after a Prescott Valley man lost over $8,700 through an email scam involving a woman claiming to be stranded in Nigeria.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said the 64-year-old victim was convinced he was helping someone in need and wired money on four separate occasions.
The victim’s wife told deputies she had just discovered the scam and the loss of the money due to her husband’s actions.
The man admitted he was befriended by a “woman” from Nigeria through emails in weeks prior. He said they never spoke, only communicating through emails.
The woman eventually asked for money, claiming she was stuck in Nigeria after losing her passport, money and other personal property.
Authorities say she asked for money for expenses including air fare and processing fees and the victim sent $1,000 by Western Union to a requested money drop on July 2.
But the suspect kept requesting money and the victim sent additional money on July 5, 6 and 10. The transfer on July 10 the transfer was made for $6,000 and wired to a bank in Nigeria.
The next day, after receiving a request for $4,000, the victim told his wife about the relationship and the payments and she called YCSO.
According to YCSO, these scams are difficult to investigate because they usually involve the use of public computers by suspects in countries where law enforcement intervention in fraud cases is rare.
If you feel you’ve been the victim of a scam such as this, you can file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.