Abuja — A Nigeria court has sentenced three fraudsters for conning overseas-based women of thousands of dollars through online romance scams.
Illoh Joseph Chiedu, Opara Donald and Daniel Uduoborie were sentenced to seven months in prison for defrauding their victims of a combined US$11 100 (R163 140) in separate cases.
Appearing before the Federal Capital Territory in the capital Abuja, Chiedu (under the false name Kylian Overgoor) was found guilty of obtaining $6 200 (R91 123) from his victim, Elena Marley, under the pretext that he was in a romantic relationship with her.
He defrauded her last year through an Instagram account.
Donald, pretending to be White Harris, a citizen of America, conned an unnamed Korean woman of $4 500 (R66 138) through a romance scam on Facebook in August this year.
Uduoborie, alias David Butler, was found guilty of fraudulently inducing one Kathelen Borg, a citizen of the United States to deliver the sum of $400 (R5 878) in a similar scam also this year.
Uduoborie pretended to be an American engineer.
Chiedu, Donald and Uduoborie pleaded guilty to the charges.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria's anti-corruption agency, had sought the prosecution of the trio on charges of internet fraud, impersonation and forgery.
Scammers take advantage of desperate people looking for romantic partners.
According to experts, romance scams often take place through online dating websites but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.