AFRICA.GAMBIA: Ismaila Camara, a 32-year-old native of Somita Village, Foni Berefet District In the West Coast Region of Gambia was on the verge of being conned by Veronica Cage, cyber-criminal cloning as a benefactor.
Last Sunday, Cage contacted Camara on Facebook, claiming to be a widow of a Gambian resident settled in Poland, United Kingdom(UK). The woman urged Camara that she had some 3.5 million dollars and wanted to spend it on the well-being of her dead husband’s natives.
Cage claimed that she and her husband had lived in the United Kingdom before the latter died on May 11, 2011.“Meanwhile, I have been battling cancer for a long time and my doctor said that the current stage is uncontrollable and I will live a few more months,” Cage wrote to Camara, justifying the reason she had to pump the money into charity.
In one of their conversation screenshots obtained by Transcontinental Times, Hashem (Cage’s husband), was working with a United Kingdom company before travelling to Banjul for a festival. From where he caught fever died.
“He died at the age of 68,” said Cage. “He travelled to his hometown in your country for their festival. When he went there he developed a fever and didn’t come back alive.”
Before the journey, as narrated by Cage, Hashem secured a project worth $3.5 million with the UK government. “Before he died, the United Kingdom has paid the money into my account,” Cage told Camara, explaining that he had chosen Camara to utilize the money for charity as she has no contact with any of her later husband’s relatives. Apart from the $3.5 million charity work, Cage earmarked a $1 million reward for Camara to motivate him to do the work diligently.
Further convincing Camara, Cage said she was scared to give the money to a not-for-profit or charity organization as they may not use it judiciously. She later requested Camara to send his personal information for her bank manager’s consideration. Subsequently, she told Camara that it would not be safe to transfer via a bank account as the UK government would be suspicious of the transaction. So, she would courier the money.
Hiring a Courier Company
After cheating on the bank transfer option, Cage claimed she had contacted SkyLimit Express, a delivery services company in the United Kingdom. She said that the courier agent would contact Camara for a custom fee in the Gambia. According to her, a security charge of $5,600 was paid and she sent the make-belief receipt to Camara.
“She decided to hire a courier for $5,600, half of which she paid,” Camara told Transcontinental Times. “The courier was supposed to arrive in The Gambia on June 29, but had a transit in Senegal and the customs asked him to pay 11,000 ($200) or else they will open the package leading to a potential confiscation. He asks me to send the money through WAVE ( an online money transfer medium) to a Senegalese number.”
This was when Camara grew suspicious especially when Cage urged him to keep the deal a secret. “What is more interesting is that when I ask for a video call, she would agree but the video would be highly distorted that you cannot even recognise the image,” Camara told Transcontinental Times.
However, things went south between them when Camara understood that the whole transaction was fraudulent and refused to send any money to the Senegalese number.