Complaints have been coming in from UK and US citizens who are part way through complex internet transactions with Nigerian bank officials. In each case they are attempting to help bring millions of dollars out of Africa by supplying their secret personal banking details to complete strangers in return for imaginary riches.
The communications problem has occurred due to damage of the SAT-3 undersea cable that connects Western Europe to Western and Southern Africa. The cable carries telephone and Internet connections, and 80% of banking fraud attempts are thought to travel across this link.
In the UK, the number of phishing e-mails has dropped by 72%, and users are reporting overall Internet performance has increased by 10%.
Although the fault has stopped most of the scams, some enterprising people are finding ways around the connection problems. Mr Simon Simple from York has reverted to the postal service. "I just sent all my credit cards and pin numbers straight to the address they gave me in Lagos. It just goes to show what you can do if you really put your mind to it."