SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – A Smith County resident has been defrauded out of $17,000 after a New Jersey woman claimed to be a family member asking for money, according to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office.
In September, a woman reported she had been contacted by a person through Facebook who identified themselves as a family member convincing the victim that she was eligible to receive a grant from the United Nations Democracy Fund Program.
Over the course of several weeks of communication, the victim sent a total of $17,000 to the suspect with the promise of receiving a check for $75,000.
After the victim did not receive her payment, she contacted her family member and was made aware of the scam.
Smith County investigator, John Partlow, was able to track down the scam through bank account numbers where he identified the suspect as Jumoke Monsurat Ayedun, 29, of New Jersey.
Upon further investigation, Ayedun was found to be a Nigerian National who is in the U.S. on a visa.
A warrant for Ayeden’s arrest was made for the criminal offense of theft from the elderly and a bond of $1,000,000 was set.
Ayeden was arrested on Monday, October 7 where she is currently awaiting extradition to Smith County.
Law enforcement urges individuals to be vigilant of any type of unknown correspondence and if you are the victim of such a scam, contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at (903) 566-6600.
The press release can be found HERE.