Astonished police intercepted a package containing nearly GBP 22,000 sent by a 69-year-old woman to a heartless romance scam conman.
The package – seized by customs officials in the city of Kassel, Hesse state, Germany – was crammed with banknotes worth EUR 25,000 and packets of sweets.
It had been addressed to a man in France the woman reportedly met on social media.
Customs Office Frankfurt spokeswoman Carina Orth explained on 7th November: “Considering the circumstances and all the information obtained by our experts so far into this ongoing investigation we are almost certain that this has been a case of love scam.”
Local police officers tracked down and questioned the sender at the end of October – a 69-year-old woman from Lower Saxony – as they investigated a possible case of international money laundering.
The pensioner told the investigators that a friendship between herself and a man from France had developed on social media.
He had asked her to send EUR 25,000 (GBP 21,780) to help him with his financial troubles.
Ms Orth explained: “The term ‘love scam’ – or ‘romance scam’ – describes fraudsters’ attempts to gain the affection of individuals who often live on their own.
“At one point, they claim to be in urgent need of money due to some emergency or great personal trouble.
“As the money is being transferred, they usually cut all ties.
“Their victims are left with broken hearts and huge financial damage. Unfortunately, such incidents are anything but uncommon nowadays.”
Investigations of Frankfurt customs officials and the Regional Crime Office of Hesse are continuing.