Where do the meetings take place?
Victims are often encouraged to travel to Nigeria to complete transactions;
some do and eventually arrive penniless at their own embassies in
Lagos with a long tale of woe. Mostly they will be asked to travel
to a neutral country where the "official" handover can
take place. London has long been the favourite venue for this, however
in recent times South Africa and Spain have become popular. Victims
from the United Kingdom are invariably taken abroad. Violence has
not been a factor in commission of these frauds in London however
victims travelling to South Africa have been subjected to violent
assaults, robbery and in one case, murder.
The criminals can control the victim. Meetings can be controlled
in areas of a city unfamiliar to the victim. The victim may be reluctant
to report worries to a foreign law enforcement agency. The criminals
rely on jurisdictional problems within the law in any prosecution.
Ultimately if a cheque is handed over on behalf of the "Central
Bank of Nigeria" or similar institution and further "fees"
have been extracted the cheque will prove to be a worthless forgery.
Even when the victim has concluded "the deal" or refuses
to pay any more, the criminals will not leave the victim alone and
re-victimisation is rife. They may pose as real Nigerian government
officials, task force officers or police officers giving stories
that "the previous people were crooks and we want to help you
and get your money back". This will either be the same Nigerian
criminal cell or another cell who have "bought" the victim
details. In order to proceed with the investigation or prosecution
they will give a sob story of how poor the country is and require
- YES - a fee, to help with their investigation - and some victims
The US Department Of State has described it as: "...kind
of like gambling. You get in so deep you keep putting money in to
get something out of it."
Remember: "If it sounds
too good to be true, then it is!"