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Woman loses over P570,000 in cash to foreign ‘love scammer’

A woman lost more than P570,000 in cash after falling victim to an online "love scam."

In John Consulta's "24 Oras" report, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) nabbed a Nigerian man accused of scamming a 60-year-old retired medical professional.

The arrest stemmed from the victim's complaint that indicated the suspect made her pay the amount for a package.

In an online exchange, the suspect told the victim that he would send her a package containing US$700,000 and asked her to pay for additional charges for it.

"'We cannot send it to you because you need to pay insurance and taxes, the AML. Once you send the money through the bank, you can get your package'," the victim, whose name was not disclosed, said she was told.

"I paid P570,000 total," she also said.

Days later, the suspect told the victim that the package could not be released because it contained money. He added that the package was returned to the seller.

NBI chief Anti-Fraud Division Head Agent Palmer Mallari said these love scammers would usually victimize "financially capable" widows who are looking for friendship. 

This also happened to the victim, who said that the foreigner was courting her and promised to marry her. But in reality, the suspect used fake videos and fake photos online.

While being detained at the NBI, the suspect was quick to deny the allegations against him.

"It shows that I'm the one chatting with her and communicating with her, my voice is not the same. So why are you accusing me of what I did not do?" he said.

The alleged scammer is also believed to be using a Filipino living in Cavite as his so-called "money mule."

The supposed money mule said he is storing about P1.2 million, with the suspect giving him a share of P100,000 per month.

NBI Chief Eric Distor said they will also investigate whether the suspect victimized other individuals. — Consuelo Marquez/BM, GMA News