Nigerian Scam Busted in the Heartland
SIKESTON, Mo. - We've all heard of a Nigerian scam - or have we?
If you have an e-mail account, you've probably got an offer that's hard to believe.
Here's how one version of the Nigerian scam works.
A stranger overseas buys items online and sends them to your home. In turn, you get to keep some of the stuff, then you send the rest of it to that unknown buyer.
So, what's wrong with that?
Police say the buyer usually uses stolen credit cards, so you could get in trouble just for getting involved.
Now, a couple in Sikeston is finding out the hard way just how much trouble you can get into.
Police say they found thousands of dollars worth of stolen goods in that Sikeston couple's home.
The woman at that home agreed to talk with me in an exclusive interview.
She's not been arrested, so we protected her identity
She says she now understands if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
"I got an email from a hero person and they said they would help my family with groceries and stuff and Christmas stuff," said "Pam" as she asked to be called.
Pam said she thought she'd found her fairy godmother online, ready to make her wishes come true through regular deliveries.
The packages continue to come, but now Pam knows she must turn them over to the police, who already confiscated these other packages from her home.
She claims she didn't know she was doing anything wrong.
"My understanding, we were to keep some and then send some to this person I was talking to and whatever for his family," she said.
"Pam" said she has heard of a Nigerian scam
"At the time I didn't know this person I was talking to in Africa. I didn't know Africa was in Nigeria or whichever way it goes," she said.
So when a Sikeston police officer disguised as a delivery driver turned up at "Pam's" home before serving a search warrant, she said she was shocked.
"I feel I'm innocent. I didn't understand. There may be people who understand, but I don't comprehend well, and I wish myself the best at this time," she said.
When I asked Pam why she thought a stranger would want to help her, she said a friend of hers told her she'd been doing it for months.