The sender of the letter, who usually describes himself as a highly placed and influential person with contacts in the Nigerian Government, says fictitious invoices will be prepared to enable the transfer of money to the account of the targeted business. To ‘facilitate’ the transfer, the business has to first pay approximately $5,000 to the contact in Nigeria for fees, taxes and bribes.
People have been stung for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Similar letters are now arriving from South America, Asia, European and Arabic nations. Variations include proceeds from a will, church funds being saved from a dictatorship, and widows from the World Trade Centre tragedy.