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Nigerian/West African Fraud

Note: The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (CAFC) is a joint partnership involving the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The CAFC is very interested in receiving copies of any 'new' versions of Nigerian letter scheme, particularly those involving Canadian mailing addresses or telephone numbers. This valuable intelligence information is used to assist in the strategic targeting of would be fraudsters. (To reduce the risk of virus transfer, please do not send Nigerian/West-African letters as attachments. Instead, either forward the mail message or copy and paste the contents into the mail window and send.)

Watch out for the Nigerian/West-African Business letter scam! For years now, businesses, learning institutions, and government departments have been receiving e-mails from senders posing as Nigerian/West-African government or business officials offering to share large sums of money.

Do not become a victim. If you have received an unsolicited letter containing any of the characteristics listed below, you should carefully research available information before conducting a transaction. The Commercial Crime Sections of the RCMP within Canada and your local Better Business Bureau are available for obtaining further information on this topic along with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre.

Most letters are variations of the following:

  • You receive an "urgent" business proposal "in strictest confidence" from a Nigerian/West-African civil servant /businessman.
  • The sender, often a member of the "contract review panel", obtained your name and profile through the Chamber of Commerce or the International Trade Commission.
  • The sender recently intercepted or has been named beneficiary of the proceeds from real estate, oil products, over-invoiced contracts, cargo shipments, or other commodities, and needs a foreign partner to assist with laundering the money.
  • Since their government/business position prohibits them from opening foreign bank accounts, senders ask you to deposit the sum, usually somewhere between $25-50 million, into your personal account.
  • For your assistance, you will receive between 15-30% of the total, which sits in the Central Bank of Nigeria awaiting transfer.
  • To complete the transaction, they ask you to provide your bank name and address, your telephone and fax numbers, the name of your beneficiary, and, of course, your bank account numbers.
  • The sender promises to forward your share within 10-14 working days!

ABC's of Fraud - Online Fraud Quiz