February 2, 2006

I just. don't. believe. this...

From the Sidney Morning Herald:

Police are staggered by the amount of money gullible 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 yesterday 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.

Of the 26 Queensland victims contacted by police over the past two months 25 had lost their funds....(Thanks to
Tim Blair)

Is the same thing as those spam e-mails I get, purporting to be from some deposed Nigerian leader wanting help transferring funds? Or is there some other "Nigerian" scam I don't know about? It can't be the same thing; the article says "investment scammers," so presumably it is about investing in something, not helping ex-general Obokubambo's widow with money transfers.

Ah ha! I just didn't read far enough:

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

Well, of course. if someone offers you a chance to get in a secret oil venture, you'd be a fool to pass up the chance...I guess this could be considered a form of foreign aid.

Posted by John Weidner at February 2, 2006 8:22 PM
Weblog by John Weidner