Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Jail the ‘greedy’ scam victims, says Nigerian diplomat

Asher Moses
August 22, 2008
THE Nigerian high commissioner says people who are ripped off by so-called Nigerian scams are just as guilty as the fraudsters and should be jailed.

Responding to a story in yesterday’s Herald, which revealed Australians lose at least $36 million a year to the online scams, Sunday Olu Agbi said Australians had failed to heed repeated warnings not to deal with shady characters on the internet.

He said media coverage of fraudulent activity stemming from Nigeria had given the country “a bad image” and “those who want to transact business with us are always very suspicious”.

“The Nigerian Government frowns very seriously on these scams … and every day tries to track down those who are involved,” he said. “It is not in the character of Nigerians to be engaged in this kind of scam.”

Professor Olu Agbi said there were almost 140 million people in Nigeria and fewer than 0.1 per cent were involved.

Nigerian scams are typically conducted via email and there are many variations.

In one version, the scammer poses as a government worker who has embezzled millions of dollars and is offering victims a percentage if they help retrieve the money by providing a relatively small amount of money for bribes or other charges.

Professor Olu Agbi said “greedy” Australians who tried to partake in these crimes – even though they are scams – should be arrested as well.

“People who send their money are as guilty as those who are asking them to send the money,” he said.

Some Nigerian fraudsters go as far as setting up fake profiles on dating sites. They string along targets for months before organising to meet them, but first ask for money to, for instance, help pay for a plane ticket.

The head of the NSW Police fraud squad, Detective Superintendent Col Dyson, said he was willing to work with Nigerian officials on an education campaign to warn people about the scams, which were difficult to track because the perpetrators were located all over the world.

He likened victims to gambling addicts. People were in denial about the scams even after being warned because the thrill of a possible windfall at the end raised their excitement and they became emotionally involved.

“The bottom line is anything that sounds too good to be true is too good to be true,” he said.


August 21, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Dear Sir,
    I am one of the victims of the nigerian internet scam, please let me know which institution I should refer to in order to file a complaint, I have already filed a complaint against the person who scammed me a month ago on the Internet crime complaint center (IC3), but no one followed up my case, please let me know to whom i can refer in Nigeria

    Comment by Carla | January 19, 2009 | Reply

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