A 23-year-old woman from Australia was accused of fraud by a court of law after she got involved in the operations of some Nigerian crooks that were running a vehicle sales scam.
According to Courier Mail, the suspect, Sarah Jane Cochrane-Ramsey, claims she unknowingly participated in the scam since March 2010, her job being to offer her bank account to the Nigerians to be used for funneling the payments.
For each vehicle the Nigerians sold on their phony site, the payment would first go to the woman’s account, who would be in charge on forwarding the money to the crooks after she kept an 8% commission for herself.
However, the two payments she received weren’t forwarded. Instead, she kept the entire amount of $33,000 (23,000 EUR) and purchased different items for herself.
Authorities tracked her down after the victims of the bogus transactions pressed charges and the money trail led them back to her.
The Aussie finally pleaded guilty to aggravated fraud after the prosecutors proved that this was not the first time she stole or committed other similar crimes.
Until the sentence, that will be given next month, Cochrane-Ramsey was allowed bail to give her the chance to make some repayments.
Nigerian scams are not uncommon, Internet users worldwide being bombarded with phony heritage claims and other advance-fee plots. In certain situations, the fraudsters will even go the extra mile if they sense that the amounts of money they could gain are worthwhile.
In one scenario, a man from New Zealand invested all the money of a company he chaired after being shown stacks of money that allegedly needed to be chemically cleaned before they could be given to him.
In another incident, a man and his daughter traveled from South Korea to Nigeria after responding to a similar scam. When they arrived in Nigeria they were kidnapped and held for a large ransom.