May 7, 2008

Nigeria fraud increases demand for investigation

Since the emergence of the classic Nigeria 419 scam, the mother of many modern advance fee fraud methods, many people simply assume that anything pertaining to Nigeria is fraudulent. This might be the safest way of operating, but for some, it just isn't realistic. International relationships in Nigeria are rising.

Lagos is the former capital of Nigeria, and it is one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a current population of 8 million people.

International business is a way of life here. Business partners and associates exist in Europe, Middle East, Asia and North America. Doing business here often means opportunity and profits. With this potential reward, however, comes significant risk.

Businesses aren't alone in this increasingly risky playing field. Similar to a small business in New York or Paris having to verify it's business relationship in Lagos, many individuals are finding personal relationships in Nigeria. Whether its romance or a new supplier, a Nigeria background check is critical.

Many people think the scams, such as advance fee fraud, simply aren't going to happen to them. Unfortunately, as the world has grown wise to Nigeria's scams, the Nigeria fraudsters have grown surprisingly sophisticated. Business scammers now have the industry know how, and they use the lingo. They have resumes and references. Beautiful women (including white women) in Lagos definitely exist, but the number of men portraying to be these women is staggering. Here too, the players are professional. They carry on phone conversatons, send email, provide visa and passport copies, and more. This is the new Nigeria 419.

How does one entering into a business or personal relationship in Nigeria find out the truth? We strongly recommend a professional background check, preferably a firm based outside of Nigeria but with local investigators who understand the local customs, people and market. Wymoo is currently the industry leader for Nigeria scam checks. According to Vice President, David Wilkerson, businesses and individuals have to "enter into relationships with insurance given the amount of fraud here, and a professional background check is prudent policy."

All the Best,

Simon Birch
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