I believe this is the first reported case of a 419 Scam in Timor-Leste. Basically, you receive an email from a total stranger inviting you to assist him or her in their effort to release large sums of funds, usually in the order of tens of millions of pounds or USDs, of which you are promised a share of up to 25% or more in the event that this fund is transferred successfully to a bank account in your country. If it sounds too good to be true, that's because it is. It's a scam, which has beguiled a lot of people in the past including professors and prominent psychologists.

I suspect that this is the case in Timor-Leste recently involing a finances staff of the Secretary of State for Security (SSS) called Floriana de Jesus Lino. According the story published in Timor Post a few days ago, Floriana became acquainted with a man from London who has inherited some amount of money following the death of his parents. After initial correspondences which lasted one year, Floriana became convinced of his story and began to send this fellow money, which she took from SSS's finances.

In the end, she ended up sending over $140,000 to this fellow, who promised her that once the inheritance is released, he would bring her over to the UK and they would be united, or married. Luckily for her, the missing funds raised alarm bells and the scheme unraveled before any more money is transferred. Now Floriana's case is in the court while she spends time in Gleno Prison awaiting the final decision.

Well, this is not actually the first case that I have heard of. A couple of years ago people in Timor-Leste began receiving text messages from Indonesia or Malaysia telling them that they have won prizes worth thousands of dollars. But, before they could claim their prizes, they would need to pay processing fees by sending money to an account held somewhere in another country. Some people I know fell victim to it! (CJITL via diakkalae.com)