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Nigerian scammers fleece Australians
February 1, 2006 - 6:40PM

Police are staggered by the amount of money Australians are losing to Nigerian investment scammers.

The long-running internet-based rort has netted more than $7 million from Queenslanders alone, and the loss Australia-wide is likely to be far higher, police say.

Among those being duped are financial advisers, lawyers and university professors, and one person had put $2.2 million into the hands of scammers over the past two years.

Inspector Brian Hay, from the Queensland Police Service Fraud and Corporate Crime Group, said he would anticipate the trend being replicated across the country.

"This is not geographically bound by state borders - this would be everywhere," Insp Hay said.

Other states had not yet analysed how and why people were sending money to the west African country, Inspector Hay said.

But 25 out of 26 Queensland victims contacted by police over the past two months had lost their funds.

Lured by the promise of a percentage of secret oil venture investments or government contracts with guaranteed high returns, scam victims were asked for money to bribe local officials and secure lucrative contracts.

"Of the 25 people we have spoken to so far, there is only one person that we would feel confident has been party to a legitimate transaction," Inspector Hay said.

"We were blown away. We didn't expect this."

Inspector Hay said financial advisers, lawyers and university professors were among those who have sent large sums of money overseas, some of them several times.

"People start paying and paying and paying," he said.

One person had put $2.2 million into the hands of scammers over the last two years.

Police decided to urge the public to exercise extreme caution in replying to the emails after they stopped $250,000 leaving the country for Nigeria.

But the Queensland victims were only "the tip of the iceberg", Inspector Hay said.

The same scam was siphoning money to other west African countries and to fraudulent operations in western nations, including Britain and the United States.

Gullible and greedy US investors were losing an estimated $1 million a day to Nigerian scammers, he said.

People should beware of emails promising quick riches for little effort.

"It's the same old story ... if it looks too good to be true, it usually is."

© 2006 AAP

Stuey Davis’s Socks

Premium Member
Tipping Member
Surely everyone has heard of this scam by now. I remember warning off a client in about 1994 or so. What do they say - a fool and their money are easily parted.


I was told about a site today called ebolamonkeyman which lists replies that people have sent back to these e-mails from Nigeria.

They are quite funny.


Only had time to read one, it was a classic

A mate at work put me on to it. he said that he spent 4 hours one day just looking at the replies they were so funny.

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