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Minister warns against Nigerian scam



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M e d i a

Release

The Hon Warren Truss MR Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs Deputy Leader of the House

Saturday 11 April, 1988 080/98

MINISTER WARNS AGAINST NIGERIAN SCAM

The Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs, Warren Truss, has today issued a warning to Australian firms about scams involving Nigerian business proposals.

The scams begin with promotional material being sent to businesses, inviting them to participate in a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ business proposal.

“The scams have a number of variations, including offers to transfer funds from Nigeria to bank accounts in Australia, with the local participant receiving a percentage of those funds; and suggestions that participants can become involved in

the purchase of Nigerian crude oil,” Mr Truss said.

“The operators of this type of scam also ask for advance payments to ‘facilitate’ operation of their proposed ‘scheme’.”

The Minister has been advised that, although this type of scam has been in existence for the past decade, there continue to be enquiries by people who have been duped. The Nigerian authorities are investigating the scams, but they have not as yet been able to stop them.

“Australian laws which normally protect against this sort of fraud cannot be enforced in these cases because the principals behind the scams are located m Nigeria,” Mr Truss said. “There is absolutely no redress for those who ‘invest’ their money'in v--7-' these Nigerian schemes.”

Mr Truss said participants usually were not asked for any money until after they had expressed interest in a proposal.

“Unfortunately, some people don’t realise the proposal is a scam until it’s too late,” he said. “As with other get-rich-quick schemes, the rule is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Contact: Andrew Hall (Minister’s office) CMR1026 02 6277 7790/0419 996 766

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