This is Part 4 of the Ghana scam story. And I am sad to say there is going to be a Part 5. I won’t get it into it in detail now, but there is a Part 5 coming and, even sadder, a Part 6.
Below are the links to the first three parts of the story concerning my friend, Ronald Robinson [not his real name], who was scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars by a Ghanaian lonely hearts scam.
As I related in the first three parts, Ronald fell in love with a woman named Nancy from Ghana, who he never met.
Over time, he sent her tens of thousands of dollars to get her to the USA and every time Nancy was about to come here, some unfortunate accident occurred which prevented her from coming, despite Ronnie sending her the money for her ticket and expenses.
One time, as she traveled towards him, leaving Ghana, she had a stopover in Holland – or so Ronnie was told – where she was arrested.
Another time she took ill from Malaria and could not get on the plane.
Yet another time, she made it all the way to New York City but US Customs stopped her because she was carrying a large quantity of gold [which she was going to bring to Ronnie].
In short, she never quite made it to Ronnie.
Initially, Nancy told Ronnie a fanciful story of how she was trapped in Ghana and needed his help to get out and that if he helped her she would come to live with him and love him faithfully all her life.
Ronnie is now 79 years old. He first started trying to get Nancy to the USA when he was around 73. He has yet to see her in person and as far as I know, has never actually spoken to her on the phone.
Their entire relationship has been by text and, on occasion, Skype. But since I also once Skyped with Nancy, I have come to conclude that on the other end was not a live person but a video that kept looping to simulate that it was Nancy on the other end, live.
Nancy’s image only appeared on the Skype call and she communicated by text, claiming that she did not have audio on her Skype.
As for Ronnie, he does not want to believe that Nancy is a fraud; that there is no Nancy, despite my showing him that the so-called Nancy, supposedly stuck in Ghana, a person he has gotten loads of pictures from, is actually a one Lana Brooke, a nude model, with tons of pictures on the internet.
I showed Ronnie this link [below] of his Nancy, [as Lana Brooke] which rather definitively proves that Nancy is not stuck in Ghana selling ice water by the roadside and waiting for a late 70s-year-old man to bring her to America to make her his bride.
Despite seeing these pictures, Ronnie was not convinced. He thought the opposite occurred. That someone had forced Nancy to take these photos and were now pretending to be Lana Brooke online and that Lana Brooke was the fraud – and Nancy was real.
Recently, he wanted to send her money to get out of the hospital and money for a ticket to come here. [Nancy was admitted to the hospital just after Ronnie had sent her money to fly to the USA].
Ronnie was partly motivated by love for his woman and also by a chance at a tidy sum of money that would more than make up for the money Ronnie had sent to Nancy over the years.
Nancy had informed him that she had $1 million in gold bullion and, as Ronnie’s wife, he would get it all because her husband would be the rightful controller of her fortune – gold that she had inherited from her late grandmother.
I told Ronnie that this was a pure lie, that there was no Nancy. That there was no gold and that the people texting him were likely men in Ghana who do this for a living.
I showed him the advisory of the US Embassy in Ghana:
U.S. citizens should be alert to attempts at fraud by persons who profess friendship or romantic interest over the Internet…. Correspondents’ quick transition to discussion of intimate matters could be an indicator of fraudulent intent. Correspondents may cultivate the relationship for several months before asking for money, but if they are after your money, eventually they will ask for it.
Before you send any money to Ghana, please take the time to do your research and inform yourself. Start by considering the fact that scams are common enough to warrant this warning. Next, look over this partial list of indicators. If any of them sound familiar, you are likely the victim of an internet scam.
- You met a friend/fiancé online.
- You’ve never met face to face.
- Your correspondent professed love at warp speed.
- Your friend/fiancé is plagued with medical or other life problems requiring loans from you.
- You are promised repayment upon the inheritance of alluvial gold or gems.
- You’ve sent large sums of money for visas or plane tickets but the person cannot seem to make it out of Ghana.
- When your friend does try to leave the country, he/she gets into a car accident or is detained by immigration officials demanding payment, bribes, or proof of a certain amount of cash on hand for travel.
- Your correspondent consistently uses lower case “i’s” and/or grammar not in keeping with their supposed life station or education level.
Cases bearing these and similar hallmarks have all proven to be scams intended to prey on sympathetic and compassionate U.S. citizen victims. We advise U.S. citizens not to send money to people they have never actually met….
Many Americans have reported losing thousands of dollars through such scams. In the event you do lose money, be warned that your chances of getting it back are almost nil. These scammers work from internet cafés and are entirely portable and elusive. Furthermore, this type of crime is not a priority for local police and it is difficult to prosecute these cases. The Embassy can offer a sympathetic ear, share information on protecting yourself against such scams, and help you determine if your situation is real or fraudulent, but cannot do much else…..
The anonymity of the internet means that the U.S. citizen cannot be sure of the real name, age, marital status, nationality, or even gender of the correspondent. In the majority of cases reported to the Embassy, the claimed “U.S. citizen” correspondent turned out to be a fictitious persona created only to lure the U.S. citizen victim into sending money.”
I thought all this was enough to stop Ronnie from sending more money. I was wrong.
I even got on the phone with Nancy’s friend, George, the man who was supposedly handling the gold for Nancy. [She had gone to the hospital right after Ronnie sent her money to come to the USA with the gold. She had, George told Ronnie, contracted malaria.]
Ronnie was ready to send $600 more, because he still believed that once he did so she could get out of the hospital and then come [with the gold] to him.
I asked Ronnie why he had to pay the hospital bill; couldn’t she sell some gold and pay it herself?
Ronnie said he was told by George that in Ghana you can’t leave the hospital unless you pay your bill and that the price he could sell the gold for in Ghana was quite low. George said it would be better for Ronnie to pay the hospital bill and let Nancy bring the gold to him in the USA where he could sell it for a good price.
The comment was so ridiculous that I told Ronnie that I wanted to speak with George. He got him on the phone a couple of weeks ago.
And I did a fairly dastardly thing: I told George that Ronnie had a Nigerian woman named Lola that he was going to marry. I thought this would end the predatory calls by George and texts from Nancy – if they thought he had moved on.
I was wrong, and Ronnie did not tell me until weeks later.
When he did, I once again demanded to speak to George. I had this conversation with George the other day and Ronnie was standing by, as I spoke to George on speaker-phone.
Ronnie: My uncle Frank wants to talk to you okay? He’s trying to help me get over all this stuff that’s been happening to me. All my money is going. He found all my paperwork, all the money that I sent you or sent you and Sister Loveiss and everything.
Frank: Hello, George.
Frank: How you doing buddy?
George: I’m fine, you?
Frank. I’m doing good and you’re doing good yourself?
George: Yeah, I’m doing good
Frank: Okay, so how can I help you guys work this out? What do you need?
George: You already told me that Ronald has a lady called Lola from Nigeria, right?
Frank: Lola? Yeah, Lola. Nice woman. She’s a very nice girl.
At this point, Ronnie became frantic. George had written to him that a man named Tomi was going to take Nancy away.
Ronnie: Lola is not my girlfriend! Tell him.
Frank: They’re not girlfriend-boyfriend yet but I think they could get together.
Ronnie: But I didn’t.
Frank: I’d like Ronnie to get married. Ronnie is my only heir and I’m leaving all my money to Ronnie. And it’s a lot of money. I’m a wealthy man. And I just don’t want him to have some woman that doesn’t love him. And so I found this nice woman, Lola. But now Ronnie doesn’t like Lola.
Ronnie: I always loved Nancy. I’ve been taking care of her for five years. Sending her money and helped her when she got in jail and all the whole thing like that and everything there was.
Frank: Did Nancy go to jail, George?
Ronnie: Did Nancy end up in jail from the gold?
George: No. Why?
Ronnie: Up in Holland when she got stopped in Holland. Didn’t they hold her?
George: The gold belonged to Nancy…
Ronnie: I had to take and pay thousands of dollars to [Nancy’s] lawyer to take and secure the gold up there and then they brought the gold back and then I had to pay money to that EDU lawyer. Remember. All the stuff there I had do that. I mean I’m not ra ich man.
Frank: How much money did you invest with Nancy so far?
Ronnie: Well, first of all, I did the thing with the passport visa. That was seven or $8,000 to the lawyer and then George went to work for the lawyer. And that’s how I met George. And then he talked to me about going and helping him to take and… He had a cocoa farm and he wanted to get financed. And you checked that out for me that time, remember? He wanted me to get some kind of loan from the bank.
Frank: Well, how much did you send them altogether?
Ronnie: Probably close to like, 25, no, more than that, because there was $30,000 from the West African Monetary Department when they took them.
Frank: How much money have you spent of your own money?
Ronnie: $50,000, probably.
Frank: $50,000 You guys got $50,000 and now Tomi wants to marry Nancy? Right, George?
George: I’m here.
Frank: Nancy and Tomi are getting together right?
George: Nancy is not getting together with Tomi until she gets out of the hospital. So I’m trying to find some money so I don’t have any choice.
Frank: Tomi sent Ronnie a letter saying that he’s taking Nancy. Did you see that email that Tomi sent, George?
George: Ronald text me that message.
Frank: Tomi said he’s gonna pay Ronnie back the money that Ronnie spent and he’s taking Nancy.
George: I don’t know what is going here with Tomi and Ronald. Tomi can’t come there to our place even though he is in Ghana.
Frank: Why can’t he come?
George: He can’t come to our place.
Frank: Well let me ask you this George. Who does the lady want to be, with Tomi or Ronnie? What does Nancy want? I mean, it’s really, she has to make a decision. She is an adult woman. Does she want to be with Ronald or does she want to be with Tomi?
G: You are called Frank, right?
Frank: My name is Frank.
George: Okay. I want you to answer me this question.
George: Without no lie
Frank: Because neither one of us should lie, right, George? Neither one of us should ever lie, right?
George: You told me that Ronald has a lady who is called Lola and you told me that Lola is Ronald’s first choice, right?
Ronnie: No, no. I don’t even know Lola. Well, no!
Frank: It’s a girl that I wanted Ronnie to be with. I want Ronnie to have a girl, George, you see? And so I found this girl, Lola. And now Ronnie’s telling me he doesn’t want to be with Lola. He wants to be with Nancy.
Ronnie: I’ve never met Lola. I don’t know Lola from anything…
Frank: But you never met Nancy either.
Ronnie: I know. But I’ve talked to Nancy on the internet and stuff like that.
Frank: Well, what’s your question, George?.
George: So, Frank, let’s finish this here. Because you don’t know the person you are really talking to. I’m not a small person, After all, I’m a good man and also I have a position here in Ghana. I’ll tell you who I am later.
Ronnie: George, tell my uncle about the gold and that you’ve got the gold there right now. And you can’t sell it. You can’t do anything with it until you have Nancy to do it. But the gold is now in your name because you took it out of my name, right?
George: I took the gold, yeah, out of your name.
Ronnie: Did you change the ownership of the gold from my name to your name with a lawyer?
George: I did it. Okay. Gold. The gold is in my name.
Ronnie: Where is the gold and the chain now?
George: Both in my name.
Ronnie: Where is the gold now?
George: Gold is with me.
Ronnie: And why can’t you sell one of the gold bars to get all this stuff straightened out instead of getting me to pay more money?
George: The amount, the price I will get from one kilo not the same price they sell it in the USA.
Frank: I’ve got a fine idea. What do you think about this idea? What if Ronnie and I come to Ghana. I’ll pay for Ronnie’s expenses. What if we come there and meet Nancy and meet you? And then we can figure out what to do from there? What if we were to fly over there? I’m willing to come over there and meet Nancy and figure out what we need to get this gold loosened up, okay?
George: I don’t have any problem with meeting you and Ronald. Frank, but what you told me the last time that Ronald has a lady who is called Lola
Ronnie: There’s no Lola!
Frank: There is a Lola.
Ronnie: I don’t want her. I have never met her. I don’t want her. I mean, it’s, it’s screwing up everything. I really want Nancy!
George: I want to ask you but I —
Frank: Speak up, George, what is it?
George: You don’t know who I am. So let me finish talking.
Frank: Yeah, go ahead.
George: After all, I’m not. I’m not a kid.
George: You told me that at that time that Lola is Ronald’s first choice Ronald wants to be with that lady from Nigeria. You told me that.
Frank: I did tell you that.
Ronnie: No, I don’t!.
George: You told me that. So I just realized that I saw if Ronnie doesn’t need Nancy again and he wants Lola and I don’t have anything to do with it again. So I just made up my mind that I will tell Nancy everything.
Frank: Good idea.
Ronnie: No, no, no!
George: I will tell Nancy everything. That Ronald’s Uncle Frank is trying to get a new lady for Ronald and she is called Lola.
George: She’s called Lola. So, right.
Ronnie: I don’t want Lola. Don’t let him think it because he’s got it all on tape and he will play it for Nancy. Tell him that I have never met Lola!
Frank: Let George talk,
Ronnie: But I don’t want to let him think that because he’s got it on tape and he wants to go to Nancy and show Nancy. He already told Nancy. Just tell him that there is no Lola and I have never met Lola!
Frank: Ronnie’s begging you. He’s begging for your forgiveness George. Ronnie wants Nancy. He’s never met Nancy, for five years, a woman he’s never met, a totally fictional woman. This is all a scam.
Ronnie: No, I’ve been with Nancy for five years.
Frank: George is just lying to you to get money out of you and you want to continue with the scam. That’s all you care about is to continue to pay these people money as they continue to cheat you. That’s all you care about. And George you know it’s true. George knows that this is a scam. George knows this is a fraud. And he knows he’s got a fool – you – on the other end. So he’s getting 50,000 dollars out of you. Because you’re a fool, Ronnie. And George is just a con artist, a scammer. He talks about being a grown man, but he’s a cowardly thief. That’s all George is, is a coward and a thief.
You’re a thief, George. You’re just a thief and you don’t know who I am. But I know who you are. You’re a thief. You’re a scam artist. And you should stop bothering Ronnie. That’s what I say to you. There is no Nancy. You’re lying about Nancy. There is no Nancy. And why don’t you grow up and be a man and make your money honestly, you fool. Don’t you know what karma is? Don’t you know what’s going to happen to thieves? They all end up broke. Don’t you have any faith in God? Don’t you have any faith in yourself that you can’t be a man?
George hung up.
Frank: He hung up. Fuck him.
I wish that I could report that this was the end of this unhappy episode. But it was not.
Stay tuned for Part 5.