Harlow resident falls victim to “Nigerian embassy” scam

Politics / Thu 20th Oct 2016 pm31 02:31pm

DETECTIVES are investigating reports of a fraud in which victims are tricked into paying money to release inheritance money that does not exist.

Victims are contacted by fraudsters pretending to be from the Nigerian embassy, who claim a relative has died abroad and has left them a vast sum of money in their will.

They are then contacted by people claiming to be bank and government representatives, who claim the process to retrieve the money will take several years and ask for payments to bypass administrative and tax costs.

As part of the scam, the fraudsters target several victims at the same time and get them to transfer these payments between themselves, each in the belief they are paying the bank or government.

However, these substantial amounts of money eventually end up with the criminals and no inheritance money is ever secured.

Essex Police is investigating a report of this fraud involving a victim from Harlow.

Detective Constable Leo Fordham, of Harlow CID, said: “These criminals are very convincing and prey on their victims’ trust.

“I would like to speak to anyone who has been contacted in a similar way and has transferred money or met people claiming to be involved in the process for releasing the alleged inheritance.

“Governments and large companies do not transfer money through individual accounts. If you receive any correspondence or phone calls, do not respond to them and do not send them any money.

“Never arrange a meeting in response to one of these frauds as you will not recover your money and you could put yourself in physical danger.”

Anyone in Essex who has been the victim of this fraud is asked to contact Dc Fordham on 101.

For more information and advice about protecting yourself from fraud, visit www.essex.police.uk/advice/fraud and actionfraud.police.uk

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