Victim Location 90066
Total money lost $3,000
Type of a scam Nigerian/Foreign Money Exchange
I was a student searching for a place to live during college and found a place near my school for a great price. I immediately contacted the person Frederick Morgan (according to the post) and received a reply from a man claiming he was a Christian and doing it out of the goodness of his heart. He told me he was on a mission trip in Nigeria so I would have to contact his wife in Florence, South Carolina. Her alias was Cecilia Morgan and used the email [email protected] She seemed very genuine and religious (both over the phone and through email) so I was too trusting even though the names did not match up with the sender name (it was flipped).
She made me answer questions about myself regarding trustworthiness, character, cleanliness, whether I smoked, etc. They asked for a copy of my ID and when I asked for theirs in return my request was ignored. I wired Morgan the money to Nigeria on various occassions and was told once I paid the down payment, security deposit, and first and last month’s rent I would be sent the keys. I looked up the address previously and had noticed the pictures did not match up to the ones on their post. There was different furniture, wall color, etc, but being young and naive, I did not listen to my gut. I knew something was wrong when she kept pushing the shipping of the keys back due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
One day she called and told me her husband had been in an accident and needed urgent medical care and she wanted me to help by sending more money. I told her I couldn’t and frankly I was shocked at her audacity to ask a stranger for money and she became upset and told me it was the least I could do since they were helping me and that they thought I was different (guilt tripping me to the max). She then told me that she would need my bank information. Routing and account number (which seemed odd that she needed both). She said that I would need to send her my password and username and that i would receive an email notifying me that my password was changed but she then sent a password that she wanted me to change it to.
Thankfully, I was already aware that I was being scammed and I immediately stopped all communication and reported it to an online crime website but I never heard back from anyone in regards to my situation. In total I lost about 3,000 dollars and ended up homeless and I had to drop out of university as a result. I then had to pay back all my loans(5,400) and financial aid (as a result of dropping out) and I ended up 12,000 dollars in debt. This occurred late summer to early fall of 2015 and it took me this long to write this because I was working multiple jobs to pay off my debt. I have looked back at all the receipts of the wire transfer (I kept them all) and the emails did all the math and I cannot believe I was so young and dumb.
I want to warn people to do their research. Look up your address of interest on multiple sights to ensure consistency.
If your tenant asks for you to wire them money, that is a RED FLAG.
If tf they refuse to send you a copy of their ID that is a RED FLAG.
If they refuse to meet you in person, that is a RED FLAG.
If you are engaging in a transaction of large quantities and you don’t have much experience, talk to someone who does! You can never be too safe.
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