Security and Safety Awareness, Crime, Threat Alerts, Political Risks, Geopolitics, Open-Source Intelligence etc.
Vanguard Of A Countering Violent Extremism Advocacy: "Nigerians Unite Against Insecurity, Terrorism and Insurgency".
For Articles, Press Releases, Adverts etc, Email: donnuait(a)yahoo.com, Twitter: @DonOkereke.
Thursday, 16 July 2015
Internet Dating Scam: How A Fake US Army Captain Conned Vulnerable Women Of £400,000
Tosin Femi Olasemo
Nigerian fraudster masqueraded as a US Army captain serving in
Afghanistan on an online dating profile to scam lonely women out of more
Femi Olasemo, 37, was allowed into Britain on a student visa, where he
set up a Match.com profile from his Cardiff home, pretending to be an
The women believed heroic Captain Morgan Travis was on the lonely hearts website looking for love.
a court heard it was Nigerian-born Olasemo, 37, who used a picture of a
soldier wearing full military uniform as his profile picture.
began 'intense online relationships' with the women before beginning to
ask for small amounts of money to help pay for leave to visit them
over two years.
Ruth Smith said money soon started spiralling into a fortune after he
had 'brainwashed' women into believing they were in a real relationship.
claimed he was stationed at Camp Joyce, a remote base in eastern
Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, where about 700 U.S. soldiers,
Police contacted the United States military to try and work out who the soldier was - but they were unable to identify him.
Smith said: 'He conducted an online dating fraud exploiting lonely and
vulnerable women by pretending he was an American soldier in Afghanistan
to get money.'
Crown Court heard Olasemo's main victim was Tine Jorgensen, 47, from
Denmark, who had two children and was recently widowed.
In May 2011 her husband died and by December 2012 she had signed up to Match.com to see if she could find love again.
The court heard within seven days Olasemo had contacted her as US Army captain Morgan Travis.
told her he was serving in Camp Joyce and sent her a picture of a
soldier with the name 'Travis' embroidered on his military jacket.
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.
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
Mrs Jorgensen was emailed by a man claiming to be a Colonel Bill Watson of the US Army requesting money for the fees.
made multiple payments through Western Union totalling £39,957.90p to
assist who she thought was now her boyfriend Capt Morgan Travis.
But the sums of money she would send soon spiralled out of control after receiving a message that Travis had been arrested.
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 then sent him a further £211,980 in order to secure the release of Travis.
Ms Smith added: 'The content of the messages were clearly designed to play on the emotional feelings she had for Morgan Travis.'
fraud was ended when the bank of Mrs Jorgensen stopped two further
money transfers of £40,000 and £150,000 getting through to Olasemo and
discovering Morgan Travis was a lie dreamt up by a Nigerian man called
Tosin Olasemo she continued an online relationship with him after
telling her he had committed the fraud because he had borrowed money
from Nigerian militants and now owed them money under pain of death.
Smith said: '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.
'As a result of that she contacted police and he was arrested at his home in Cardiff.'
living in Cardiff on a student visa at the time of the frauds, was
arrested January 2015 at his home and when police searched his computer
found 'conversations with numerous other women as Travis'.
They also found several false Nigerian passports and driving licenses.
One of the other victims was Danish woman Joanna Kosz-Strusiewiczqho, who had been divorced for 10 years.
was fed the same lies on Match.com about a soldier this time called
Michael Travis and they became 'engaged' online before she sent him
police contacted her about the fraud she said she felt 'upset and angry
at herself that someone had managed to play on her emotions.'
Mrs Jorgensen said she had been 'brainwashed'.
a victim impact statement read to the court she said: 'I really liked
the contact with Travis. He was extremely interested in getting to know
'When I found out I was terribly ashamed of being so naive and having believed his lies.'
court heard how police searched Olasemo's computer and on his laptop
they found documents about how to speak to women to gain their
Olasemo pleaded guilty to 12 counts of fraud between December 2012 and October 2014.
admitted four counts of fraud, four counts of possession of false
identity documents, three counts of possession for use in fraud and one
count of acquiring criminal property.
Judge Eleri Rees jailed him for four and a half years.
She told him he had created a 'tissue of lies' to convince the women to pay him substantial sums of money.
said: 'This was a sophisticated, sustained and planned conduct against
ladies who became vulnerable in their dealings with you.
'I am told it is probable you will be deported at the end of your sentence.'
Sergeant Jamie Holcombe, from the South Wales Police Economic Crime
Unit, said: 'This case is an example of how an individual can sit in
front of a computer and destroy another person's life.
'Olasemo took advantage of his victims' vulnerabilities and showed no compassion for their significant losses.'
The money he gained will now be pursued under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Holcombe added: 'As always, we would encourage those using dating sites
or other internet forums to be vigilant. Please do not send money or
provide personal details to strangers.'