Wire Fraud and Nigerian Emails in Iowa

Jun 23, 2017

An Iowa woman has been sentenced to sixteen months in federal prison for assisting with an email scam.  The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa says that 67-year-old Victoria Lovan pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud.

In this news buzz edition of River to River, guest host Emily Woodbury talks with Jessica Whitney, Director of Consumer Protection at the Iowa Attorney General's Office.  Her office did not work on this case directly. Whitney says although the Nigerian email scam has been around a long time, people still do fall for it.  People were asked to wire money to Lovan who in turn funneled the money overseas. Whitney says it's relatively rare for someone to be based in the U.S. for this type of scam.

"People feel like well I'm not wiring money to a foreign country, I'm wiring it to someone here in the U.S. and in this case, it probably helped that the  woman was in Iowa; we have a reputation for being nice people."

Whitney says anytime someone you don't know is asking for money through email, it's a red flag.

During this hour, we also hear about President Donald Trump's visit to Iowa, a statewide courthouse weapons ban, a study on Iowa beehives and weight loss, an affordable housing sale, and Des Moines is now part of Home Base Iowa.