EXTRAORDINARY ITEMS - But it's the oldest trick in the book
A couple of weeks ago The Wall Street Journal Europe carried a half-page advertisement from the Central Bank of Nigeria. “Press statement on advance fee fraud scam” ran the headline, “You have been warned”.
The shenanigans of a handful of people purporting to be officials from the Central Bank or the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation must be well known by now. Westerners get a letter explaining that the government agency official has a trifling little matter concerning a spare $23m or so, lying in a bank account that can’t be accessed without triggering an investigation by the foreign exchange authorities. If you just send them your own bank account details, your signature, and several thousand dollars, they will split the money with you 50:50.
The rip-off has been running for years and is pretty embarrassing for the Nigerian government, whose patience is obviously beginning to wear thin. “You have been warned several times before!” it says at the end of the hugely expensive ad. “You have been warned again!!”