There are all kinds of terrible men to be found on online dating websites. Girl, I could tell you stories. But the most terrible of all is probably this guy, Chibuzor Akobundu (far left), a 22-year-old Nigerian college senior who was arrested for swindling American women out of $48,000. In a piece in the Nigerian newspaper Vangaurd, he explains how he did it.
- Fake name, fake photo, fake profile. Working at cyber cafes, Akobundu created and maintained an online dating profile where he called himself Devon Miles and stole a photo of “an unknown American citizen” to use on his profile. He claimed to be a divorced 49-year-old America engineer.
- Targeting your mom. He targeted single women between the ages of 40 and 50 who were supposedly looking for husbands, carried on months-long relationships, and promised to marry them.
- He claimed to be have a sick daughter OR be stranded in Nigeria. This wily fox carried on months-long relationships with his victims online. At some point, he would either say he had a sick daughter who needed her hospital bill paid or he was stranded in Nigeria and ask for them to wire large sums of money via Western Union. Remarkably, at least six women fell for it! Antionette gave him $16,000; Jettie Simpson sent him $5,000; Shelly Bashir sent him only $100; Billie Klock sent him $13,000; Andrea Desana sent him $8,000 and Amelia Bosick sent him $16,439. (This amount adds up to more than $48K, so I’m assuming some of the funding didn’t go through.)
- But no flirting. “I have never used charm to hypnotise any of them,” he insisted to the Vanguard.
- Once he got the money, he blew it all partying in South Africa. “Anytime I got a reasonable amount, I would travel to South Africa and squander the money,” Akobunu said. “My regret is that I never used the money for anything tangible, to avoid suspicion.” That’s your regret?!?!
Nigerian police’s Special Fraud Unit finally busted Chibuzor Akobundu, who studies microbiology at Imo State University, after one of the women, Amelia Brosick, had warned Western Union they may have had a fraudster on their hands. Apparently he had multiple accounts in the names Devon Miles, Martin Williams and Sani Bala Ismaila so as not to draw attention to the large foreign sums of money he was receiving. Two staffers at Nigeria’s Skye Bank Plc. have also been arrested for aiding Akobundu despite having knowledge that he was involved in a scam.
Well, I’m glad to see he got caught. But seriously, WHO ARE THESE WOMEN THAT FALL FOR THIS?! I guess the same people who open those emails that claim to be from a Nigerian prince. Don’t send money to strangers on the Internet, people. Except maybe the Jessica Can’t Support Her Own Starbucks Habit Fund.
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[Photo: Vanguard NGR]