Poor Nigerians are upset over being scammed by United States citizens posing as large banks to effect email scams sometimes worth billions of dollars. The emails started appearing in the inboxes of Nigerians several weeks ago and have since exploded in frequency.
A typical email goes something like this:
"My dear Nigerian friend, I am writing to you as a last resort for I have been the victim of some bad news.
Recently I have come into some huge monies from my rich Uncle Sam. How is this bad news you ask? Because, in order to receive this huge amount of monies I must make huge sub-prime loans to people such as yourselves who have little or no chance of paying the loan back in full.Pleas, if you could find it in your heart to foward the amount of 5,000 dollars Nigerian to my bank in New York City, America, which I call AIG, I would be most grateful for we could then begin the loan process.
I would not ask this of you, my dear friend whom I have just met if I did not trust you implicitly.
This arrangement will also guarantee you a large portion of this huge amount of monies. However I must ask that you make every effort to show your good faithfulness. It is not my doing but that of my Uncle. He will not loan me the monies to loan you if I do not.
Sincerely, Martin Sullivan,
AIG president and CEO."
Ashipa Oludayo is one such victim. After forwarding the specified amount he was then instructed to pay over 15,000 Nigerian dollars in closing costs, then it was realtor's commissions and the requests went on and on.
"There was no end." said Ashipa, "I received no money. He kept stalling and stalling. finally there was the request to travel to the United States. That's when I knew it was a scam. I can not believe this has happened to me."
Nigerians who become victims have little chance of recovering their money. Litigation is both costly and time consuming, with no guarantee of success.