Consumer Tips and Information
Nigerian Solicitation Scams
Nigerian solicitation scams are currently one of the most popular advance fee frauds. If you have received a letter or e-mail regarding this scam, we strongly urge you to discard it. This solicitation is an outright fraud. In addition, the Federal government has formed a task force to deal with this problem. Our office provides copies of materials we receive to the U.S. federal government. However, we have received many copies of the Nigerian solicitation so it is unnecessary for you to provide us with a copy of what you received.
How the Fraud Works
The victims generally receive written letters, often by fax or e-mails, from persons claiming to be representatives of the Nigerian government or the Nigerian Central Bank, or the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. The writers sometimes claim that millions of dollars are available to be sent out of Nigeria to a foreign bank account because, for example, Nigerian contractors were over-invoiced. There may be other reasons stated in the solicitation.
The Nigerians tell the potential victim that if his account can be used, he can receive up to 30% of this money after the transfer. They ask the victim to pay various government and legal fees to transfer the money out of Nigeria and into the victim's account. Sometimes a victim is told that the advance fees are needed to set up phoney contracts and to bribe government officials.
Again, this solicitation is an outright scam. The best thing to do is to throw it away or delete it. For more information or to file a complaint contact the United States Secret Service.
Consumer Complaint Form
Attorney General's Office
Consumer Protection Division
1300 E. Walnut
Des Moines, IA 50319