What causes the Nigerian culture of cheating

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The embassy received numerous inquiries from Germans who were obviously victims of internet fraud. Fraudsters are usually very clever at doing this.

If a (not necessarily Ivorian) internet acquaintance or business partner asks you to transfer money, read the following tips to see if it could be a scam.

The following scams occurred in particular:

  • An Internet acquaintance (often French or Belgian, mostly on the way to Germany or Europe) is injured and admitted to hospital, the German acquaintance is supposed to pay the hospital costs.
  • An Internet acquaintance wants to travel to Germany and asks for financial help for a passport, visa and plane ticket.
  • An Internet acquaintance is arrested at the airport shortly before departure, e.g. because she had ivory, masks or other works of art in her luggage. Now bail is to be paid for release.
  • Before a transfer, mostly of donations, profits or inheritances, can be made to Germany, the recipient of the money is asked to pay bank fees or taxes.

New scams can always appear. This list is therefore not exhaustive. The embassy advises particular caution.

The fraudsters are often people from West Africa (often from Ghana or Nigeria, as they speak English) who pretend to be Europeans, Americans or Australians using photos stolen from the Internet.

Should you have suffered damage, we recommend that you report to your local police force. The information from the police crime prevention could also help you: