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U.S Agents Foil N252b Scams In Lagos

Posted by PM News on 2008/06/30 | Views: 2556 |

U.S Agents Foil N252b Scams In Lagos

Secret agents of the United States Postal Service have smashed a record scam running into $2.1 billion (about N252 billion) in Lagos.

Secret agents of the United States Postal Service have smashed a record scam running into $2.1 billion (about N252 billion) in Lagos.

Chris Siouris, a cyber investigator at the US Postal Inspector said at a press conference that the American agents intercepted counterfeit cheques, lottery tickets and e-Bay overpayment schemes with a face value of $2.1 billion.

The interception was done within three months in Lagos, although Siouris did not disclose the period.

His disclosure came on the heels of the jailing in Washington (State) an American woman, found guilty for aiding Nigerians in an internet counterfeit cheque scheme.

The woman, Edna Fiedler, bagged two years in prison and five years of supervised release.

Edna Fiedler pleaded guilty in March to attempting to defraud U.S. citizens in a scheme known as a Nigerian cheque scam.

Fiedler helped her accomplices in Nigeria send fake cheques to people who had agreed to cash the cheques on behalf of the sender, keeping some of the proceeds and sending the rest back.

The Nigerians found people willing to cash the fake cheques via e-mail. They would send their names as well as fake documents that looked like Wal-Mart money orders, Bank of America cheques, U.S. Postal Service checks and American Express travelerís cheques to Fiedler.

They told her how to fill out the checks and where to send them. The recipients most likely thought they were helping out someone who needed a person in the U.S. to cash a cheque for them, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

They were able to get the money by cashing the cheques, and sent most of it to either Fiedler or her Nigerian accomplices. However, once the cheques were discovered to be fake, the people who cashed them were responsible for the full amount.

All told, Fiedler sent out US $609,000 worth of phony cheques and money orders. When U.S. Secret Service agents investigating the case searched Fiedlerís house, they found additional fake cheques worth more than $1.1 million that she was preparing to send out.

At a recent conference in Seattle, a representative from the U.S. Postal Service and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna described ways theyíre working to shut down these kinds of scams, particularly because they often involve people who donít realise that theyíre taking part in illegal activities.

Siouris, McKenna and others are pushing for ways to better educate Internet users so that people donít unwittingly help out in these kinds of e-mail scams.

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