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Ghanaian Instagram Influencer Arrested in $2M Romance Scam

Instagram influencer scammed
Sankt-Petersburg Russia April 13, 2018: Apple iPhone X on office desk with icons of social media network instagram application on screen. Social network. Starting social media app. Photo taken at company office

*A Ghanaian Instagram influencer has been extradited to the U.S. from the United Kingdom to face charges in a romance scam. 

Mona Faiz Montrage, 30, is accused of defrauding lonely men online of $2 million, CBS News reports. Montrage is facing charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering, per the outlet. 

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Mona Faiz Montrage was a member of a criminal conspiracy that specifically targeted older Americans through romance scams.  These scams can be both financially and emotionally devastating for vulnerable victims.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mona Moutrage (@hajia4reall)

Prosecutors allege that Montrage was part of a West African criminal enterprise that perpetrated fraud against individuals and businesses in the United States between 2013 and 2019, CBS News reports. 

Prosecutors claim the scammers tricked their victims into believing that they were in romantic relationships through emails, texts, and social media messages.

“Once members of the Enterprise had successfully convinced victims that they were in a romantic relationship and had gained their trust, they convinced the victims, under false pretenses, to transfer money to bank accounts the victims believed were controlled by their romantic interests, when, in fact, the bank accounts were controlled by members of the Enterprise,” prosecutors said.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mona Moutrage (@hajia4reall)

Per the news release, FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said: “We alleged today that Ms. Montrage participated in multiple romance scams – often targeting elderly victims – resulting in more than $2 million in fraudulent funds under her control.  Romance scams – especially those that target older individuals – are of major concern.  The FBI will be tireless in our efforts to hold fraudsters accountable in the criminal justice system.”

Montrage has 4.2 million followers on Instagram and as SandraRose.com reports, her account was at one point among the top 10 most followed profiles in Ghana.

READ MORE: Ice Spice: Her Real Name is An Instagram Violation

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