US man defrauded of R200 000 in 419 scam

2013-04-12 22:01

Johannesburg - Two people were arrested in Johannesburg on Friday for allegedly defrauding a US citizen of more than R200 000 in a 419 scam, the Hawks said.

A 44-year-old Nigerian man and a 20-year-old South African woman were arrested in Sandton around 14:00, spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko said.

The Nigerian is married to a South African woman, and the 20-year-old is believed to be his step-daughter.

The victim, 48, who was looking for business opportunities, and the Nigerian met on an online professional network.

The US man arrived in South Africa on 18 March. He gave them money when they visited him in his hotel room.

He also had his business partners in Canada and the USA transfer money to the pair via Western Union. In total he gave them over R200 000.

He suspected he was the victim of a scam and alerted police on Wednesday.

He was unable to leave the country because he had no more money left.

The two were charged with advance fee fraud, also referred to as a 419 scam.

The number 419 refers to the article of the Nigerian criminal code dealing with fraud.

Usually victims receive e-mails claiming their help, and a small fee, are needed to access large sums of money.

According to the SA Police Service's website it is currently the world’s largest scam in terms of monetary losses.

The two would appear in the Johannesburg Commercial Crime Court soon.

"We believe this is the tip of the iceberg. It is part of a bigger syndicate," Ramaloko said.

  • Greg Quinn - 2013-04-12 22:12

    Anyone who gives R200 000 of their money upfront to strangers with a Western Union account deserves to lose their money. And for the ultimate reverse scam, check out this link, long read, but oh so worth it...

      Thanduxolo Galada - 2013-04-12 23:34

      Definitely a great laugh - loved Bert the hamster! This John is so resilient to scam hey....hahahahaha

      Sheik Mohammad - 2013-04-13 00:58

      Don't you just love "greed". I just loved the run around given to the scammer.

      WildCatSal - 2013-04-13 01:57

      Now.. If a person is an experienced Businessman, Specially the high and mighty Westerners as they seem to know it ALL, HOW on earth could he 'fall' for a 419 scam! What about a simple background check on your potential business partners? Me thinks the 'deal' was leaning towards 'shady' side.. Yet again.. GREED bait. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true then it is. Walk away with your pride intact, take a nice one week vacation, then go home. Lesson learnt!

      GB Garratt - 2013-04-13 04:25

      The heading should read, "Greedy, stupid yank caught in 419 scam".

      Caine Abel - 2013-04-13 06:42

      I cant believe there is still people out there falling for these shysters....some people deserve to be scamed but then again we dont want these scumbag fraudsters to get away with it.......nigerians......ja ja ja dont generalise but these scumbags must be hung by their nuts

      Mark Smith - 2013-04-13 07:49

      He does not have enough money to leave the country? Ha ha, as a foreigner on a business trip you would not be allowed into the country if you had not purchased a return ticket.

      King OfThiefs - 2013-04-13 10:39

      Avoid Western Union at all cost!!!

      Mike Bundy - 2013-04-13 16:43

      Anthony Michael: Yes, that is exactly how the scam usually works, and yes, most people that fall for it are overcome with greed and lack of morals.

      Henry Nel - 2013-04-13 17:50

      Hey you guys think you clever with your posts? THIS WAS A SETUP!! Think before ya'll fools post. stupid f's

  • Francois Conradie - 2013-04-12 22:25

    Can't believe people ever fell for that.

  • Keith Herdman Grant - 2013-04-12 22:26

    Only an american can be that stupid

      Mark Smith - 2013-04-13 07:44

      ... and you are prejudice. I know some pretty stupid South Africans too.

      Sean Rossouw - 2013-04-13 12:43

      419 scams happen around the world.

      Mike Bundy - 2013-04-13 16:44

      That comment is so blatantly wrong that you are obviously trolling

  • Makhanthisa Master-t - 2013-04-12 22:35

    Arent we suppose to be praising the Hawks for the great job? or people on news24 only know how to criticize like the incident in durban involving the two italians.

      SharonE - 2013-04-12 23:33

      I marvel at the fact that our diplomats are told to portray South Africa in a positive light, and then there are incidents such as this and the Italians, where foreigners come to South Africa with every intention of doing business, but leave bewildered, broke but relieved to be alive. And what about the Norwegian student that was raped? How do you encourage people to visit South Africa when they do so at their own peril?

      Ralph Michael Wigzell - 2013-04-12 23:38

      Good job Hawks!

      Sheik Mohammad - 2013-04-13 01:07

      SharonE, During the late 70's to early 90's I spent my time inviting people to South Africa and took them to all the corners of this once beautiful country, barring one person how still visits. I have managed to convince all of them and their friends and family to travel to safer destinations.

      Rebecca Robyn - 2013-04-13 07:42

      I marvel at naiveté, stupidity and greed of some people coming to SA under the guise of 'doing business' here. Who meets someone you've never met in your hotel room' I mean that happens only when you have been doing business with them for years. Don't blame SA for the chancers and greedy -those wanting to get rich quick or take advantage of the naï can be taken for a ride anywhere in this world-that is why when you travel overseas you get all the info-negatve or positive about the country you are visiting-i.e. Guidelines...

  • Johan Schutte - 2013-04-12 22:38

    Nigerians are very active in many ways in this country and on internet....time to get rid of the soft approach about foreigners coming to this country...not to mention all the thousands of other illegal immigrants and chinese immegrants....

      EJ Bollie - 2013-04-13 02:24

      Do u know how many South Africans are outside there in other countries? If you dont understand international relations and diplomacy, then keep your mouth shut!

      Gary Guy - 2013-04-13 08:08

      @EJ - International relations .. what utter rubbish. You don't need a degree in international relations to know when your country is being flooded with aliens, many of whom are criminals. I also don't care how many South Africans are in other countries ... if many of them are criminals they should be kicked out of those countries too.

  • Ralph Michael Wigzell - 2013-04-12 23:39

    He got caught by the oldest trick in the book.

  • OhSnap - 2013-04-13 00:13

    If you gonna be a dumb@ss like that he deserves to lose his money !!! My 11 year old niece knows about these scams already !!!!

  • Ridwaan Ebrahim - 2013-04-13 00:31

    The things i do with 419'ers... i send them some spam of my own... Sometimes i play along with them for days and then i just send them spam in the end...

  • Charné Coetzer - 2013-04-13 03:05

    People STILL fall for this?!

  • Faheem Essop - 2013-04-13 03:50

    I'll lock up the American for being so stupid... Americas Dumbest Businessman

  • Don Tandy - 2013-04-13 04:00

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  • Fortune Sibiya - 2013-04-13 05:26

    Nigerians are turning our country into a banana republic drugs,murder prostitutes the list is endless

      WildCatSal - 2013-04-13 05:32

      Oh.. I thought you where speaking about the leaders that be right here at home.

      Greg Quinn - 2013-04-13 07:31

      Nigerians are the least of our worries, try looking closer to home...

      Goodness Ndlovu - 2014-02-03 22:48

      @fortune C Sibiya,labefika khona izwe liyabola,buka nje e Hibrow eThekwini and GP.Babuye baganwe osisi basemzansi.

  • Obakeng Molobi - 2013-04-13 05:41

    Ai! SA girls and Nigerian guys!

  • Prada Ledger - 2013-04-13 05:41

    who wants to say anything about foreigners

  • Samson Ifada - 2013-04-13 05:43

    Dat is Nigerian for u, D Nigerian guy n d American citizen are both criminals.... d Nigerian guy asked d American citizen to bring some money for him to transfer a big amount of money to him over there!!!! How u reap were u didnt sow?

  • Jan Ramoshaba - 2013-04-13 05:55

    From my pespective view people like getting rich and in a quick way as they fall for scams its so scaring to see high people still falling stupid scams especially americans I thought their clever but to this it proves that nobody is perfect so its a warning to the world scam is alive thanx Ramaloko good job keep up the good job

  • jungleboy - 2013-04-13 07:32

    Nigerians equal fraud and scamming even an eskimo knows this

  • Richard Scully - 2013-04-13 07:32

    Dumb ass

  • Wendy Nezar Schmidt - 2013-04-13 07:33

    Never do business with Nigerians ..

  • Lohan Felix - 2013-04-13 07:39

    typical stupid american lol!!!

  • Siboniso Mathenjwa - 2013-04-13 07:46

    it means there is no crime in america,,no one can do this to me

  • Helen Steenkamp - 2013-04-13 07:49

    Kry nt hierdie Negeriese gemors uit ons land uit dan sal dt al baie beter mt almal hier gaan. Ek voel niks as hul winkels aan di brand gesteek word of hul moet vlug vir hul lewens ni hulle is nt n uitlandse verpesting.

  • Gifted - 2013-04-13 07:50

    indeed its a tip of an iceberg...nigerians are even finding their ways to gumtree and olx. This guys are so good in IT, and they can use their skills to uplift their country by tapping into Africa's super fast growing ICT industry just like what Samsung and LG did to South Korea or Nokia to the once business unpopular country finland.

  • Bonginkosi Shiba - 2013-04-13 08:16


  • Stanley Mabunda - 2013-04-13 08:26

    deport this man to his overpopulated country

  • Simon McCullough - 2013-04-13 09:08

    Not all Nigerians are scammers and drug dealers... But on the other hand all scammers and drug dealers are Nigerian

  • AsGodIsMyWitness - 2013-04-13 09:09

    He paid R200,000 to get himself labelled a "Fool" such as "a fool and his money are soon parted". Greed and foolishness are the perfect combination for being separated form your money!

  • Mashadi Matjila - 2013-04-13 09:20

    I don't understand how people still fall prey to such STUPID scams! Seriously. Plus the grammar and spelling in their emails is so pathetic, you can easily spot a scam miles away. The only way to get rich overnight is by winning the lotto jackpot, anything else is nonsense, please catch a wake up people.

  • Clarence Price - 2013-04-13 09:20

    to all rich enough and who would love to part ways with their money. please deposit in account number 41904190419 ps don't make travel arrangements

  • ANASKA - 2013-04-13 09:36

    The utter stupidity of this man handing over R200 000 is beyond my comprehension!! - Ramaloko I wish you all the luck in the world trying to bust these syndicates -IT IS HUGE!! Nigeria is notorious for scamming people from ALL OVER THE WORLD

  • Simba Mandiveyi - 2013-04-13 09:49

    This business man also....

  • Chikomborero Dumba - 2013-04-13 09:49

    A fool got parted from his money

      German Mazokera - 2013-04-13 15:12

      Iwe chikomborero, hanzi murombo haarovi chinenguvo.

  • Erna Westdyk - 2013-04-13 10:10

    If it looks too good ...... Unfortunately, in terms of dollars, this isn't even such a huge amount of money and you will find that this was probably not a rich man who got scammed! Particularly seeing as there was more than one contributor. Stupid people!

  • King OfThiefs - 2013-04-13 10:37

    Avoid Western Union at all cost!!!

  • Rebel - 2013-04-13 14:27

    Serves them right. Pitty the Nigerian didn't manage to get away.

  • German Mazokera - 2013-04-13 15:46

    Every country is known for one or two things in the world you can't talk CHINA and leave its population and counter feit goods .you can't take hiroshima and nagasaka out of Japan and leave their world class techinology.brazil ethiopia gaza strip egypty. zimbambe the training ground of the world. South africa a first world country well soaked in crime of every nature

  • Ricky Singh - 2013-04-13 19:33

    Hey these Nigies that scam,scum of the earth.Lock them up so we can show them some South African hospitality.P.S.Do watch out,they also on the internet.

      Brendon Nel - 2013-04-14 09:07

      Ey this f*ckin morons that fall for the scam

  • Rob Martin - 2013-04-13 20:06


  • Jackie Jackson - 2013-04-14 04:57

    I don't even give them a 5 cents when they ask fir money at a traffic light

  • Stinky Spice - 2013-04-14 18:50

    How many South Africans are selling drugs on street corners in Nigeria and pimping local underage girls as prostitutes.

  • Stinky Spice - 2013-04-14 18:50


  • Merrill Bowen - 2014-02-04 01:38

    just as Russell replied I'm shocked that someone can earn $4298 in a few weeks on the computer. look at this now W­ o­ r­ k­ s­ 7­ 7­ .­ C­ O­ M­

  • pages:
  • 1