(CNN) – (8/23/19) In March 2016, a man claiming to be a US Army captain stationed in Syria reached out to a Japanese woman on an international site for digital pen pals.
Within weeks, their relationship grew into an internet romance with the man sending daily emails in English that she translated via Google.
The man who called himself Terry Garcia asked for money — lots of it — from the woman identified as FK in federal court documents.
Over 10 months, she sent him a total of $200,000 that she borrowed from friends, her ex-husband and other relatives to make her love interest happy.But in reality, Garcia did not exist.
It was all an international online scam ran by two Nigerian men in the Los Angeles area with the help of associates in their home country and other nations, federal officials say.
Thursday, US prosecutors charged 80 people — mostly Nigerians — in the widespread conspiracy that defrauded at least $6 million from businesses and vulnerable elderly women.