Fraudsters Go Overseas to 'Chop Your Dollars'
Nigerian fraudsters, swindlers and confidence tricksters are expanding and diversifying, spreading out from their African haven--where they have collaborated successfully for decades with corrupt government officials and bankers.
The Nigerian criminals are developing new twists on the multibillion-dollar 419 scam; and they are operating from Europe and Asia, including Japan, where the National Police Agency's Security Bureau is reviewing the files of a number of suspicious foreign nationals.
Fraudulent commodities and currency trading schemes are among the new Nigerian specialties. Some victims are individuals who believe they are investing to share in a supposedly specially licensed broker's staggering commission payments; in actuality, the contracts and related documents shown to the sucker are bogus.
When cornered or confronted , many Nigerian crooks become aggressive, threatening their victims or accusers with "untimely death," demanding money.
Over the years, a number of 419 victims have been lured to Nigeria and other African countries, only to be kidnapped and held for ransom and, in some cases, killed.
The dirty secret of all this is that Nigerian scammers are praised at home. A 419-celebrating music video by one scammer--he was arrested in Amsterdam in connection with a phony lottery--was a big hit in Lagos. The song lyrics were racist to boot, bragging about "chopping dollars" from despised white people. For many poor, angry, young Nigerians, international fraud is an attractive career option.