Australian man lost $700,000 in scam

March 26, 2013 at 8:41 AM

GERALDTON, Australia, March 26 (UPI) -- A Western Australian man said he lost $700,000 to scammers who told him he would inherit $26 million.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he sent the $700,000 offshore over many years, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday.

The victim is in his 70s and said he believed the money was taxes and fees on his inheritance from a woman in London.

"It'll be a small fee for this and then we'll release it and, oh look, there's another fee and you pay that and this one's got to be paid, all these different fees," he said.

The Major Fraud Squad said they alerted the man about the scam many times, but he continued to send the money.

In the past two months, 17 people in Geraldton, Australia have sent $1 million to fraudsters in West Africa, the Australian broadcaster said.

Officials in the area are holding a forum to raise awareness about the issue of fraud.

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