The "Nigerian" Scam: Costly sympathy


Nigerian advance-fee fraud has been around for many years, but now it seems to have reached out-breaking proportions: Some of the consumers have said to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that they are receiving dozens of offers a day from supposed Nigerians graciously promising huge profits in exchange for help moving large amount of money out of their country. And it is said that, many sympathetic consumers are continuing to fall for the believable sob stories, the unswervingly polite language, and the unequivocal promises of money. These advance-fee solicitations are scams. And according to the Federal Trade Commission, the scam artists are playing each and every consumer for a fool. Here’s the play book:


“Claiming to be Nigerian officials, businesspeople or the surviving spouses of former government honchos, con artists offer to transfer millions of dollars into your bank account in exchange for a small fee. If you respond to the initial offer, you may receive “official looking” documents. Typically, you’re then asked to provide blank letterhead and your bank account numbers, as well as some money to cover transaction and transfer costs and attorney’s fees.


You may even be encouraged to travel to Nigeria or a border country to complete the transaction. Sometimes, the fraudsters will produce trunks of dyed or stamped money to verify their claims. Inevitably, though, emergencies come up, requiring more of your money and delaying the “transfer” of funds to your account; in the end, there aren’t any profits for you to share, and the scam artist has vanished with your money.”

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