Nigerian letter scams
AUGUST 22, 2002

If you have been contacted by someone from Nigeria asking for your help in transferring money out of the country, then you are one of thousands of people all over the world who have been targeted by what is sometimes called the “Nigerian letter scam” or “Nigerian advance fee fraud”. Although “Nigerian” is the name given to it, this scam is international. The letter or email you get may also pretend to come from another country, such as Sierra Leone, the Congo or South Africa. In fact, the scam operator may be in the US, or Europe, or anywhere.

From time to time, the Malta Financial Services Centre (MFSC) receives copies of such letters or e-mails purporting to come from Nigeria or some other exotic country offering “too good to be true” rewards in return for “assistance” usually related to the transfer of funds from that country to the country of the recipient of the letter or e-mail. Indeed, during these past few weeks, a number of persons have copied the Centre with various forms of these scam letters. Certain sections of the press have even gone further of publishing these letters with a view to raising people’s awareness about these scams