Friday, 29 October 2010
Nigerian scammers fleece councils
You've got to take your hat off to the Nigerian scammers; nowhere on earth produces a race so inventive of new frauds, so diligent in their quest for the tiniest chink in financial security systems. Give an Englishman an inkjet printer and he'll produce photographs of his family; give one to a Nigerian and within hours he'll run off a whole series of forged documents. Councils across the country are counting the cost of the most simple of scams, the diversion of BACS payments to false accounts. The Nigerian scammers simply sent in fake letterheaded requests from large contractors advising of a change of bank details; most muppets in council finance departments obligingly quickly changed the details on their creditor payments systems. Given that most contractors are used to waiting weeks beyond the due date for payment from councils, the frauds take some time to come to light - enough time for the scammers to empty the accounts and disappear back to Lagos to see out the recession in some luxury.