Over the past decade or so, the United States has cracked down on Nigerian Internet scams.
Western Union, for example, would not allow me to wire my Nigerian fixer an advance portion of his pay because, the operator told me, I was likely the victim of fraud.
Still, Nigerian fraudsters manage to dupe Americans into forking thousands of dollars over to complete strangers each year.
The scams often involve phony lottery winnings, job offers, and inheritance notices.
Ten years ago, Sheye and Danjuma, who are both in their mid-30s, say they could make up to 2 million naira—about $12,000—per Yahoo job, but the “US are very wise” now, Sheye says.
They’ll fly potential marks to Ghana, for example, and put them up in a fancy hotel while they meet with Sheye and Danjuma’s faux business partners there.
Since Ghana is a less corrupt country, they say, victims are more likely to enter into a business deal with a Ghanaian than a Nigerian.
Another go-to scam involves a taxi cab, a French man, a locked box filled with gold, and very expensive pliers.
(Ditto.) They asked to hire me out for a day for one of their cons because, they said, my white skin would bolster their credibility.
“And he is not even 18.” The two fraudsters make most of their money duping fellow Nigerians.
(They insist that tricking people is not the same as stealing.
The agency received over 4,000 complaints of advance fee romance scams in 2012, with victim losses totaling over million.
Nigerians aren’t the only ones committing international advance fee fraud, but nearly one-fifth of all such scams originate in the West African country.
“They don’t know what to do with money.” “Whenever we want to fraud somebody, we will know what you are worth,” Danjuma says. ” Even “how much you have in your account.” They glean all this information just by developing a tight relationship with the dupe.