Posing as delegates of the "Nigerian Government Reimbursement Committee," online scammers are seeking out victims of Nigerian e-mail scams and promising them a $150,000 reimbursement award.
An e-mail circulating around the Internet claims the Reimbursement Committee is "under the strict supervision of the United Nations" and is working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to repay scam victims.THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS
In order to claim their $150,000 award, individuals are ordered to provide an upfront processing fee of $850. This tactic, called "advance-fee fraud," has been the signature mark of these scams.
Once an individual provides the scammers with his or her personal information, he or she is sent a "Certificate of Victimization."
One ABC News intern e-mailed the scammers and specifically stated he was not a victim. They still sent him the certificate.
ABC News investigated Nigerian e-mail scams, called "419 scams," last year. The scammers target wealthy Americans, or "mugus," asking them to pay thousands of dollars in "processing fees" before they can collect on the big payout. The victims eventually discover the promised riches are a fraud.
Ed Mezvinsky, a former Democratic congressman from Iowa, is serving a seven-year sentence for fraud after getting caught up in a series of Nigerian e-mail scams. Mezvinsky traveled to Nigeria numerous times and ultimately lost more than $3 million as a victim of the scammers.