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Winnipeg Police Caught a Nigerian for Orchestrating ‘419 Scam’

A Nigerian refugee, Toluwalade Alonge Owolabi residing in Canada was under the custody of Winnipeg police for being involved in West Africa email scam. 36-years old Owolabi has allegedly defrauded an old man aged 84 years of $30,000.

The charges on Toluwalade of Toronto are of committing fraud of an amount greater than $5,000, fraud of amount lesser than the same, and five more offenses. Police caught the suspect from the victim's Winnipeg home where Toluwalade had traveled to collect a payment. But by then, victim had realized that he is in a scam and alerted the police.

In the beginning, the old man received an e-mail that offered a share in an inheritance of around US$1.45 Million. Surprisingly, the property was non-existent. The old man unwittingly encouraged the fraud after replying the email. The con man then asked his victim to wire $37,500 as an upfront fee. The old man first sent $30,000 in Ghana and later some more than $30,000, unaware of being deceived. But the phone calls and e-mails continued.

When the victim realized that he was being duped, he called the Winnipeg police in August 2007 after making arrangements of getting the scammer to come to his home to collect money. For the first time, a Canadian Police agency outside Toronto had made such an arrest where the culprit himself came to police.

Many people have received these types of e-mails that promise far-fetched amounts of money but it is tough to solve such fraud cases as the scammers use various untraceable methods like wire transfers and Web-based e-mail accounts. This particular kind of scam is called the '419 scam' or more popularly, the Nigerian e-mail scam or advanced fee letter fraud. It is hard to believe that many fall prey to such scams.

Computer security consultant Alan Davison of HUB Computer Solutions advised people to urgently install anti-spam software or delete such e-mails without responding to them. Winnipegsun published this in news on September 13, 2007.

In another new, under a different 419 scam, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the anti-fraud police of Nigeria, got a hand on over 15,000 counterfeit checks during a secret operation it conducted at the major mail sorting unit in Lagos.

» SPAMfighter News - 9/28/2007

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