A Nigerian man created a dating profile online pretending to be a U.S. Army Captain serving in Afghanistan in a massive scam, receiving more than $400,000 in funds.
Tosin Femi Olasemo, 37, created a dating profile on Match.com from his British home pretending to be U.S. Army Captain, Morgan Travis. Olasemo used a picture of Travis in full uniform as his profile picture.
He convinced the women that he was talking on the dating site to believe that he was stationed at Camp Joyce, near the Pakistani border in Afghanistan.
He tricked the women into thinking that they were in a relationship and began asking them for money so that they could meet up and he could visit them.
One woman in particular gave a great deal of money to Olasemo due to his scam online. The woman was 47-year old Tine Jorgensen from Denmark, a mother of two who had recently been widowed, according to Cardiff Crown Court.
Prosecutor Ruth Smith said, “She began talking to him over the video service Yahoo Messenger but he informed her he couldn’t send live video of himself due to security risks in Afghanistan – something she accepted,” The Daily Mail reported. “Olasemo said he could get some leave but would have to pay administration fees and she said she would help him on the understanding she would get her money back,” she added.
A man claiming to be Colonel Bill Watson then emailed Smith asking for the fees, which totaled £39,957.90 pounds. The fees were then transferred through Western Union.
The large sum of money was not enough for Olasemo and he began to pull her emotional strings and ask for more money.
Patricia Smith said, “Despite having obtained substantial sums of money he then decided to say Morgan Travis had been arrested for money laundering and requested money in the guise of Sergeant James Wayne who said he was a friend of Travis.”
She sent an additional £211,980 to release Travis.
Police were later contacted after Mrs. Jorgensen’s bank stopped an additional £40,000 and £150,000 transfer to Olasemo.
Despite finding out about the fraud, she continued the relationship with Olasemo after he told her he only committed the fraud because he was scared for his life from Nigerian militants that he borrowed money from.
“Unfortunately she still felt an attachment to the defendant and stayed in contact for some time and sent him more money until a lady claiming to be the Danish wife of Olasemo contacted her,” Smith said. “As a result of that, she contacted police and he was arrested at his home in Cardiff.”
Jorgensen was not the only victim of Olasemo’s scam. Police searched and found on Olasemo’s computer, “conversations with numerous other women as Travis,” as well as several documents on how to speak to women to gain their trust. Olasemo was arrested in January 2015.
He plead guilty to 12 counts of fraud overall, including four counts of fraud, four counts of possession of false identity documents, one count of acquiring criminal property, and three counts of possession for use in fraud.
He was then sentenced to four and a half years of jail time.