Thursday, May 23, 2002

nigerian email fraud arrests

You may have received an email or two asking for your assistance in helping the writer remove large sums of money from Nigeria. Such missives have graced my inbin more than once. My last message from Nigeria had me a little confused. I couldn't tell if the sender was actually from Nigeria, or from Zimbabwe:
I have served my beloved country Nigeria as a minister of Works and Housing for some years now.
and then, a couple of paragraphs later,
Please sir, I need to be educated professionally due to my low knowledge for any investment out side my country Zimbabwe. I would like this proposal to be treated with absolute trust and honesty.
The author's confusion alone made me distrust the email. Previous similar offers made it inherently untrustworthy.

But, I hadn't heard of any actions taken against the senders of those emails. Now I have. Six people were arrested in South Africa on fraud charges this weekend. Imagine being a legitimate businessman from Nigeria trying to engage in international business. Until this type of fraud stops, it will act as a barrier to small businesses from Nigeria trying to engage in trade on a global level. Maybe this arrest is a move in that direction.