Channel 4/KEO Films
THE INTERNET ROMANCE SCAM
The number for fraud in the Nigerian penal code is 419, and one of the latest types of fraud is the Internet Romance Scam. Brenda and Caroline are two British women who were scammed by Nigerian men using fake identities on internet dating websites. Divorcee Brenda went online looking for love, but ended up scammed out of £60,000. Caroline was scammed out of money by a Nigerian who pretended to be a Greek entrepreneur; but when he broke the scammer’s golden rule and confessed his true identity, claiming he had really fallen in love with her, Caroline took the brave decision to give their relationship a chance.
Barney Lankester-Owen’s First Cut film from back in 2011 joins Caroline and Brenda as they try to come to terms with what has happened to them, and features rare access to a former Nigerian scammer. Felix is a reformed scammer. A University graduate from Lagos, Nigeria, Felix spent four years scamming people over the internet using various techniques, including the Internet Romance Scam. Barney travels to Lagos to meet Felix who, in a rare interview, explains why the 419 scammers are targeting British women, and how they justify it to themselves.
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