Going by the name Sackey Wasky and lurking on the popular Match.com dating site, the fraudster managed to convince hundreds of men to open their wallets for what they thought were pleas for assistance for everything from plane tickets to shipping costs.
The scam was aided by authentic looking passport and visa documents meant to assuage any lingering doubts in the minds of Sackey Wasky’s unsuspecting targets.
“I must be honest with you that I really miss you so much. Since morning, I have been thinking of you and I really wish we could go out to have some fun, my one and only love,” Wasky wrote to one victim, who had requested to see her passport, in email correspondence reviewed by The Local.
“No matter what happens I will always love you.”
The scam was uncovered when a couple of Swedish computer hackers whose friend had been duped by the bogus beauty from western Africa managed to break into the fraudster’s email account.
Among the hundreds of emails sent and received by Sackey Wasky, they found payment order confirmations and other evidence of her numerous cons.
Altogether, the hackers estimate that Wasky managed to rake in around half a million kronor ($64,000) in just the last year, the Aftonbladet newspaper reports.
“She presents herself under a number of different guises,” one of the hackers told the newspaper.
“Sometimes she’s a poor girl who can’t pay for the flight herself. Other times she’s well-to-do and has inherited gold from old relatives. But as soon as someone has started to send money, she gets problems and needs more money to travel.”
Some email exchanges are written in Norwegian, however, although Wasky explains her linguistic abilities as a result of working in a hotel in Norway, according to Aftonbladet.
However it remains unclear exactly where Sackey Wasky may be based and where he or she may strike next.