Brian says many times scammers ask their "mark" to send money to them in order to help someone in need—or help them transfer huge sums of money. Nigerian con artists aren't just targeting e-mail accounts.They promise that if the money comes through, the donor will receive a huge return on his or her investment. Brian says these scams are also infiltrating a post office near you.Patricia called Nigeria and was told that in exchange for her help, she would be financially rewarded.
One of the men they arrest is in the middle of trying to cheat an American woman who had just sent him her photo and bank account number.
Brian says Americans are the primary targets of these scams because scammers see them as "mugus"—which means "big, gullible fools." Brian says one of the reasons Nigeria is a source of so many scams is because a large number of citizens are living below the poverty level.
These computer-savvy criminals are logging on in Internet cafes around the world.
For one story, Brian set his sights on e-mail scams originating in Nigeria, a West African nation that has been plagued by government corruption for decades. "People think, 'This is pretty good.'" Unfortunately, the payout usually comes in the form of a counterfeit check..never comes at all.
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