ROMANCE scammers conned €30,000 out of a Riola woman who thought she had developed a relationship with a soldier stationed abroad.
The victim made contact with a man via a well-known social network last August and quickly built up a bond with her that turned into an online romance.
He spun her a yarn that he was a soldier involved in an armed conflict abroad but desperately wanted to meet her as soon as possible.
As he reeled her in emotionally, he asked for a €4,000 payment to cover ‘customs fees’ for him to travel to Spain.
With the money banked, he upped his demands and came up with a variety of reasons to get an extra €26,000 out of her within a fortnight.
At that point, the victim realised she had been hood-winked and reported the con to the Guardia Civil in Valencia.
A long process to identify the scammers started and the social media profile of the soldier was found to be operated by four men and a woman.
The 72-year-old female was Barcelona-based and was in charge of getting the money into a bank account and then transferring it to other accounts or making cryptocurrency investments.
The woman was eventually arrested on January 12 and charged with bank fraud.
Her four male associates from Liberia and Zambia cannot be located.