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How a German Woman Lost £130,000 to a Nigerian Love Scammer

A German woman, Ms Petra Goschenhofer, has told the court how she fell victim to a love scam and lost £130,000 to a Nigerian fraudster. She was testifying against Wilson Daphey (a.k.a Jefrey Guiseppe), who is facing nine charges of obtaining money under false pretence and money laundering before Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, October 6, 2023.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alleged that Daphey, with the help of his accomplices who are still at large, posed as a white American building engineer and deceived Goschenhofer into sending him money for various reasons. He sent her fake pictures, passports and work permits to convince her of his identity and promised to pay her back.

Goschenhofer said she met Daphey on Instagram in 2008 and he claimed to be a bitcoin trader who wanted to be her business partner. She declined his offer but they continued to chat about his career and family. He said he was a single dad with two kids and had building projects all over the world, including Dubai.

She said he later professed his love for her and she fell for him because she was in a bad situation with her marriage and her son’s health. He then started asking her for money, saying he needed it to clear his building equipment in Dubai, to pay for his bank account that was frozen, and to undergo a surgery after he claimed he was in a coma.

She said she made all the payments through Western Union, totaling £130,000. She later became suspicious of him and decided to investigate his identity. She found out that everything he told her was fake and his phone number was on a server in Singapore. She reported the matter to the police but they said it was difficult to investigate because the German law restricts investigations outside Europe.

She said she joined some women on Instagram who had similar experiences and they tried to help each other.

Goschenhofer said she finally saw Guiseppe’s face on a video call during the Covid 19 era and realized he was not an American. He apologized and said he was from Kenya. She contacted an officer in the German embassy in Kenya and sent him videos and documents of Guiseppe. The officer told her that Guiseppe was actually a Nigerian based on his dialect. She also noticed that he was driving a car with a Nigerian number plate in one of their video chats.

She decided to send all the evidence of pictures, passports, work permits and receipts to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution. The court admitted the evidence as exhibits. The trial was adjourned to Tuesday, 10 October, 2023 for cross examination.

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