Nigeria Letters Update

This time, I’m back to talking about fake “business opportunites” from Nigeria (e.g., here, I said “The really distubing thing about these emails is that they indicate that at least one person smart enough to turn on a computer, and also able to read, fell for this”), not fake uranium sales from Niger. Today’s Washington Post recounts the tale of just such a person, and it really is sad:

…Daniels, 67, who, as treasurer of Dupont Park Seventh-day Adventist Church in Southeast Washington, secretly invested and then lost $1.3 million of church money. Daniels put that money — along with hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own — into a get-rich-quick scam that law enforcement authorities refer to as the Nigerian advance fee scheme.

…Daniels is among hundreds, if not thousands, of people across the nation who lose money each year in Nigerian advance fee schemes, lured by a promise of a big payoff that never comes, according to the U.S. Secret Service. Authorities estimate that victims in the United States have lost at least $2 billion in the past 12 years.

…On April 11, 2000, Daniels met in Amsterdam with two Nigerian men involved in the scheme, prosecutors said. Three weeks later, he wired $98,750 to an Amsterdam bank — the first of more than 30 payments over 19 months, law enforcement officials said.

The Post story has a lot more detail. Thank to reader Tom for the heads up on this one.