Flying to Africa
Thinking of flying to Africa to meet an online friend? Or wanting to convince a loved one not to?
WA Police and Consumer Protection strongly advise against overseas trips to meet online friends or love interests, especially if they have been requesting money for any reason.
In our experience they are organised criminals and flying to meet them is putting your life in danger.
Australia’s Smart Traveller website warns of the risks of kidnapping and violent crime in Nigeria: www.smartraveller.gov.au/Nigeria
These warnings and based on real-life scenarios and should not be ignored.
If you are not familiar with the tragic death of WA romance fraud victim Jette Jacobs who went to South Africa to meet a man from Nigeria, you can read more here.
Project Sunbird has helped prevent many relationship fraud victims, who were planning to travel overseas, from finding themselves in very dangerous situations. In one case we discovered that a 70-year-old who thought he was going to meet a woman in Ghana was in fact going to be picked up by a notorious criminal gang called the Sakawa Boys. Read the full story and hear from the victim.
You don’t have to be caught up in a fraud to be at risk in places like Nigeria. A Perth man has told his harrowing tale of being held hostage in Nigeria to Community News.
If after reading all of this, you or your loved one is still not convinced, do not hesitate to call 1300 30 40 54 and ask to speak to a Project Sunbird officer. Your call will be confidential, you do not even have to disclose who you are, as we can talk to you anonymously if that makes you feel more comfortable to have the discussion.
These sorts of trips are considered to be so serious that with your agreement we often organise a one-to-one meeting with a WA Police Major Fraud Squad Detective or a WA ScamNet Investigator.
As part of Project Sunbird, WA Police work directly with Nigerian authorities and can offer firm evidence about the risks faced when making such a journey.
We are Western Australian government agencies that are here to provide advice and help you make an informed decision.
If you or your loved one is insistent on making a trip, definitely register with the Smart Traveller website before leaving.