A 48-year-old man accused of defrauding his victims through an online dating scam appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday (29 July) for alleged fraud and money laundering.
The suspect who allegedly scammed people out of millions of rands, was arrested last week Friday following a joint operation by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
“It is alleged that the suspect lured mostly USA based victims from a dating site,” the Hawks said.
“After building a certain level of trust the victims were tricked into paying the suspect for apparent business related challenges in the guise that the money was going to be paid back.
“The Hawks and the FBI linked the suspect to over R4.1 million transferred to a South African based company owned by the suspect.”
This is not the first major instance of a South African-related scam targeting people in the US.
In 2016, it was reported that an internet fraud syndicate operating out of Pretoria stole over R70 million from hundreds of women over six years, with a Nigerian man posing as a US soldier to win the hearts of his lonely victims.
The cyber scam network was set up by a group of Nigerians in 2009, which ran romance and credit card-related scams.