motion picture "Dumb and
Dumber," Jim Carey asks
his fantasy woman about the odds of a guy like him getting together
with a girl like her. She answers, "Not good."
He follows up by asking, "You mean not good like one out of
hundred?" and she responds, "I'd say more like one out of
a million." Jim Carey then grins happily and says,
"So you're telling me there's a chance."
Based on what we have heard from victims of this fraud, the odds of
recovering losses are about the same as the odds of Jim Carey
getting the girl. However, some victims refuse to accept this
fact of life and this can be a mistake.
We strongly recommend that victims never personally try to go after
the Nigerian scam artists who defrauded them, intending to coerce or
force them to return the funds lost in the fraud. Doing so
will likely result in additional losses, but more importantly this
can prove to be exceptionally dangerous. These criminals can
easily be provoked to violence.
We do recommend that victims who have suffered losses provide all
details and documentation to the United
States Secret Service, Financial Crimes Division, 950 H Street, NW,
Washington DC 20001--or call this unit at 202.406.5850.
(Those who have received Nigerian Fraud Letters and were wise enough
to ignore the proposal should not send the communication to the
above address, but rather should post it to Inspection
Service Operations Support Group, Two Gateway Center, 9th Floor,
Newark, NJ 07175-0001.)
It should also be noted here that from time to time, visitors to our
Web site advise that they have received a Nigerian Fraud Letter and
have decided to "play around with the guy" and string him
along for a while. This is never a good idea. These
fraudsters can be extremely dangerous and are not people to be
"playing around with."
For what it's worth, the Nigerian Federal Police have reportedly set
up a special unit to investigate these scams. Since most
victims would understandably decline to travel to Nigeria,
prosecutions--even in the unlikely event the Nigerian fraud artist
can be identified and located--can prove difficult, if not
impossible. We strongly suggest that victims desiring to work
with this unit do so only
if this is recommended in their specific case by the Secret
Service. (All Nigerian Government employees are not
necessarily to be trusted implicitly. In fact a former ruler
of that country, the late military dictator Sani Abacha, reportedly
moved between $12 to $16 billion out of Nigeria and into his
personal offshore accounts and those of his family members.)
In almost every case, it is usually best to simply forward the
relevant documentation to the Secret Service and do absolutely
nothing else. The funds lost in this scam are gone forever and
nothing the victim can do will change this. Victims are
specifically cautioned against being stung once again in the future
if approached by a fraudster claiming to be a Nigerian law
enforcement official investigating the scam and promising a recovery
of previous losses.