8 foreign nationals arrested for online dating scam targeting widows, divorcees

The suspects allegedly preyed on victims, many of them vulnerable widows or divorcees, who were led to believe that they were in a genuine romantic relationship.

Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - International law enforcement authorities have arrested eight foreign nationals accused of a host of crimes, including money laundering.

In a joint operation involving US agencies, the suspects were tracked down in Cape Town early on Tuesday morning.

The international probe involves the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US Secret Service, Interpol and the Hawks and Special Task Force, among others.

The suspects allegedly preyed on victims, many of them vulnerable widows or divorcees, who were led to believe that they were in a genuine romantic relationship.

Instead, they were scammed out of their hard-earned money.

The suspects used social media sites and online dating websites to find and target their victims.

The FBI estimates that more than 100 people lost more than R100 million in these scams over the past decade.

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