Woman Gives $500,000 to Nigerian Scammer She Met on Christian Mingle

In case you needed a reminder not to give money to someone you met on an online dating site, here's one: Last year, a woman was scammed out of more than $500,000 by a Nigerian scam artist that she met on ChristianMingle.com.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the con artist, posing as a British citizen working on a Scottish oil rig, persistently pursued the 66-year-old victim, repeatedly calling her at her San Jose, California home, and sending her texts and flowers. Eventually, he asked her for a loan for a non-existent business, even going so far as to make a fake website.

The woman, whose name was not released, agreed and gave him money from her retirement account, including one lump sum of $200,000 which she wired to a Turkish bank account last year. Shortly after that payment, she became concerned that she'd be scammed and alerted prosecutors in Santa Clara County, who contacted her bank.

Wisdom Onokpite, an aquaintence of the fraudster, was arrested by Turkish police when he attempted to withdraw the money and is being prosecuted with fraud.

The actual fraudster's identity is still unknown, though his Skype and email accounts were traced to Nigeria.