Two Nigerians who worked with other alleged scammers and succeeded in duping a 65-year-old woman to the tune of $100,000 by pretending to be Bruno Mars, a popular American entertainer on social media have been arrested by police in Houston.
Basil Amadi and Chinwendu Azuonwu have been charged with money laundering and not defrauding by false pretences because they allegedly opened the bank accounts through which the money was funneled to the scammers. They face a posse jail term of 10 years.
According to prosecutors the woman fell in love with someone on Instagram who was impersonating actor Bruno Mars and agreed to part away with the $100,000 so that the supposed actor could call off his tour and come spend time with her.
Immediately the money was paid, the 65-year-old woman who had been looking forward to a romantic time with her much-admired actor could not trace his whereabouts. After waiting in vain, she reported the matter to the police, leading to the arrest of the duo.
The duo were merely recruited to open bank accounts through the money could be laundered.
Police have said that the scammers have become so sophisticated that it has become difficult for victims to escape, explaining that they deploy all sorts of schemes to appear genuine, especially in romance scams.