Man who targeted Colorado women in ‘Nigerian romance scam’ arrested

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Credit: El Paso County Sheriff

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — A man suspected of scamming two El Paso County women out of tens of thousands of dollars has been arrested, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities described the scheme as a “Nigerian romance scam.”

In February 2018, the sheriff’s office began investigating the alleged scam. Detectives found the suspect came to the U.S. from Nigeria in early 2017 on a student visa and immediately started the scam, according to the sheriff’s office.

Kelly Itive, 26, allegedly used social media to pose as a middle-aged white man with an engineering background.

“He convinced two women in El Paso County to send him money in excess of $78,000 between April 2017 and February 2018, and he used fake bank websites to convince them he had the means to pay them back,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

El Paso County authorities coordinated with the Cobb County, Georgia police department to arrest Itive. He was taken into custody Friday. Cobb County is in the Atlanta area.

“He will be scheduled for extradition back to Colorado to face charges of theft and criminal impersonation,” the sheriff’s office said. It urged people to never send money to people they do not know, have not met in person or otherwise have an identity that has not been verified.

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