Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Expert to tackle cyber crime out of Africa

Greg Stolz

May 21, 2008 12:00am

GULLIBLE Queenslanders are losing as much as $500,000 a month to cyber-crooks from Nigeria, police say.

And a Nigerian computer crime expert has arrived in Queensland to help tackle the problem.

Nigerian Economic Financial Crimes Commission official Abdulkarim Chukkol is on the Gold Coast for an IT security conference staged by the University of Queensland.

He told the Australian Computer Emergency Response Team conference that Nigeria was ashamed of its reputation as the world’s scam capital and the NEFCC had been established to combat the problem.

Mr Chukkol said that after perpetrating scams including fake lotteries and bogus funds transfers, Nigerian fraudsters were turning their attentions to romance, charity and even pet sale scams.

Despite widespread publicity about Nigerian scams, Queensland police fraud squad chief Brian Hay said Queenslanders were still making an average of 600 financial transactions a month, worth a total of about $500,000, with the west African nation.

Many of the victims were lonely hearts who had lost tens of thousands of dollars in online dating scams, Superintendent Hay said.

“I think the Nigerians would be the most successful (at online scams) _ they’ve found a niche and they exploit it,” he said.

“Even Nigerians themselves have fallen victim to these types of frauds. It’s a global problem and people need to be careful and they need to protect themselves.”

Mr Chukkol said a criminal minority was tarnishing Nigeria’s image but the NEFCC was fighting back.

He said more than 280 cyber-criminals had been convicted and tens of millions of dollars recovered.

Mr Chukkol will also address industry groups to pass on tips on how to avoid falling victim to cyber-crime.

June 5, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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