RCMP make arrests in Nigerian scam

It looks like progress is finally being made in cracking down on one of the most notorious scams of all, the long-running Nigerian con. Email and phone calls ask people to help the relatives of a deposed Nigerian president collect funds from bank accounts. The story is a front to get at the bank accounts of the helpers.

There were news reports last week that three people involved in this international operation were arrested in Toronto. Apparently, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been investigating the scam for three years.

The news reports contained a great deal of information we haven’t seen before about how this scam operates and its international tentacles. According to The Globe and Mail, one person lost $5 million in the sting.

Size is shocking
What was especially shocking was the news that this thing has become so big the Nigerian perpetrators have hired confederates in several major world cities. None of this has ever been made known to the public before, to my knowledge.

You have to ask why. Apparently, the police know a lot more about this scam than they are revealing. Perhaps the idea is to keep the informationnder wraps so they have a better chance of busting the operation wide open by nabbing the people at the top.

But the ringleaders are apparently in Nigeria, recently ranked as the second most corrupt country in the world. If the security forces there have shown no interest in shutting down this operation in the past, why should we believe things will be any different now?

Regular updates
This scam and all other common scams should receive as much publicity as possible. The RCMP and local police are the first line of defence here. They should not sit on information that might prevent more victims from being drawn into the trap.

Regular updates to the media on these matters should be a routine part of their public relations.
It certainly would make for more productive use of TV time and newspaper space than the on-going Stockwell Day soap opera.

Adapted from the July 16 edition of the Internet Wealth Builder.