“The most vulnerable Americans are between the ages of 40 and 59 while women are three times more likely to be scammed than men.”
Nigerian fraudsters duped United States citizens of N7.56 billion ($50.4 million) in 2011 alone, a senior official of the U.S. consulate in Nigeria, Michael Bonner, has revealed.
Chief among the scams used by the fraudsters is the Advance Fee Fraud popularly called 419.
Speaking at a workshop in Lagos titled “The Dynamics of Cashless Economy and Emerging Methods in Financial Crimes for Investigators and Prosecutors,” Mr. Bonner said Americans lost over N855 thousand ($5,700) per hour to Nigerian scammers.
He said US authorities receive about 15 complaints per day from Americans scammed by these fraudsters; a daily total of N20.7 million ($138,000).
According to Mr. Bonner, the most vulnerable Americans are between the ages of 40 to 59 while women are three times more likely to be scammed than men.
Nigeria’s unenviable reputation as the hub of financial and online crimes is unrelenting. Last week global financial management firm, KPMG rated the country as the most fraudulent to do business in Africa. Despite claims by the government that it is fighting corruption, the firm blamed regulatory failure and a herculean legal process for failure to punish perpetrators.
Growing unemployment, officially put at over 40 per cent also means that majority of the population who are youth are easily drawn to (cyber) crimes.