I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
It's definitely a scam. Any time you meet someone claiming to be an American citizen in Africa, you should be extremely suspicious. But this is just another version of the old inheritance scam. People are aware that they're not likely to inherit money from a relative they never met, so scam artists first befriend their victims. Then they pretend they inherited the money and ask for your "help" to get the money. This is extremely common. The person selling property would never have to pay an upfront fee to do the sale - the buyer brings money to the sale, and that's used to pay any closing costs and other expenses. So, it's absolutely a scam.
Most of these scam artists are groups of people working together so they can respond to emails in a timely manner. It's possible there's a woman in the mix, but most of the people you're talking to are probably men. They also mask their IP address and usually route through multiple countries, so it would take a pretty experienced computer tech to trace the emails, if it can be done at all. You could wind up spending a lot more money and finding out nothing useful. It's better to let the authorities handle it.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to cut off contact. She'll never admit it's a scam, unless it's to act like she "started" to scam you, but then really fell in love - and by the way, could you send more money? The second best thing you can do is beware of follow-up scams. Sometimes in this situation, the scam artists will have a friend contact you and offer to get your money back - for a small, upfront fee, sent via Western Union. It's just a more despicable part of the original scam. Don't fall for it. The third step is to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, who investigates cyber crime.
If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.