Smalley shared her version of events with MSNBC.com in the hopes that others might not fall for the same trickery.
"Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever known that this is all a part of an elaborate online scam. He spent four months gaining my trust and he did it."
So-called Nigerian scams, where victims are ultimately tricked into sending money to the African country using some irreversible method like a wire transfer, are common. The Secret Service and other U.S. agencies have issued warnings on the scams, also known as "419" or "advance-fee" frauds. But the seductive flavor of this type of the scam â€” known to some as "sweetheart scams" â€” and the incredible patience shown by the scammer reveal just how far con artists will go to trick their marks....
I have received several offers to share in Nigerian wealth. All I have to do is let Mr. Nigerian deposit his large sum of money into my bank account, and he would be willing to share some of it with me! It's a matter of trying to get his family fortune out of the country, you see.
This stuff has gone on for so many years, it is really baffling how people still fall for it. If "Nigeria" or related words are used, run away.