In the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre’s annual report on crime typologies and case studies, there is a particular one that caught my attention: the case of an elderly couple that have been duped into sending money to various people all over the world – and continued to do it even after they were being warned by the police that it is highly likely that these recipients were international fraudsters.
On four separate occasions the couple has sent money to people in Africa, the UK and Hong Hong, and they lost a little over half a million of Australian dollars in total.
The fraudsters based in the UK and in Hong Kong carried out an “inheritance” scam, while the Ghana- and Ivory Coast-based scammers – as it happens, two women – forged a friendly relationship with the couple over the Internet and asked for (and received) money for food, accommodation and other expenses. The husband even traveled to Ghana on one occasion and met the woman.
Law enforcement officers visited the couple in relation to the money transfers connected to these four recipients and talked to them about the high probability that these recipients were scammers, but have obviously not made much of an impact, since the couple continued to send money overseas.