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They could not, however, pay him because one document – International Clearance and Policy Certificate (ICP) number was not available.

It had to come from Nigeria, so the payment was cancelled.

Last September, we brought you an online dating tale with a happy ending: guy falls in love with a buxom blonde/millionaire heiress who friends him on Facebook, gets ready to send her a wad of cash so she can supposedly come to the US (which she somehow needed in spite of that rich daddy of hers), dumps his fiancée, and gets saved in the nick of time by aforementioned dumped fiancée. Last year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took in reports from 2,620 Australians who’d lost almost million to dating and romance scams. Armstrong told her story to police, researchers and the ACCC during a Queensland University of Technology symposium on romance fraud. Armstrong’s story: 5 years ago, at the age of 53, she signed up to a dating site.

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First, they showed him an aluminium strong box, which he thought contained the money.

They also opened it and showed him two bundles, which he confirmed were genuine.

Dr Cross said it was often hard for family, friends or police to convince someone they were being duped."They [scammers] use a lot of social engineering techniques — they are able to identify a person's weakness and vulnerability very quickly and they are then able to build this very high trust and rapport between themselves and the victim," she said.

While romance scams are draining millions from the economy, investment fraud is emerging as the biggest threat.

The story begins on March 21, 2003, when Blick received an e-mail from a person in Nigeria by the name of Taye Owo, looking for a foreign contractor to transfer $20.5 million out of Nigeria. Unfortunately, Blick hadn’t heard of the scam and became excited about getting 20 million dollars for nothing. After many emails, phone calls, and faxes back and forth, the scammers provided a certificate of incorporation for Blick’s American company in Nigeria as well as a job completion certificate.