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Woman nearly falls victim to Nigerian Boyfriend Scam

scam-alertMASON CITY – Online predators look for the gullible, the lonely, the easily-influenced, someone who will fall for their sob story, and seem to have come close to finding a victim here in Mason City Wednesday.

Mason City police reported that officers were called the the Wal-Mart Super Center, 4151 4th Street SW, Wednesday at about 11:29 AM when woman was attempting to cash a check. The woman told employees that the check was from “her boyfriend in Nigeria”. The officer advised that the check was fraud and part of a scam. Apparently, the woman gave up and left the store.

The scam the officer referred to is known by several names but some call it the “romance scam” or the “Nigerian boyfriend scam”, among others. Typically, the slick online actor befriends a lonely person and lays a sob story on their prey. The goal is to get a wire transfer of money via Western Union. Once the money is sent, it is gone for good. Sometimes, the scam artist even sends a check that the prey tries to cash, and then asks for an immediate wire transfer while the cheek clears over several days. The money changes hands, the check is bad, and the scammer keeps the cash. Law enforcement typically advises against sending money overseas via Western union unless you know the person receiving it is legitimate.

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