Black Money: The Latest Twist in the Billion Dollar Nigerian Scam Racket

Dec 8, 2006 12:29pm

There are hundreds of variations on the Nigerian e-mail scams, including one in which the victims are told they’ve inherited millions, millions in money that has been painted black to smuggle it out of Nigeria. In the scam, as caught on hidden cameras in Amsterdam, victims are told there is a special, very expensive chemical that can clean the black money so it can be used. "So with this stuff the real colors come back?" a reporter asks. The scammer replies, "Yeah." THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS Video The Secret Behind the ‘Black Money’ Scam Photos Nigerian E-mail Scammers at Work Father of Chelsea’s Boyfriend in Prison for Fraud, Scams Click Here to Check Out Who’s Blowing Hot, Cool and Smoke The victim is told the chemical can cost up to $200,000 a batch. And the scammers put on an elaborate demonstration to show how it works. Powders are sprinkled; the money is washed; and presto, it’s clean. Of course, the demonstration is done with real bills while the remainder of the black bills are just pieces of paper. Click Here for the Brian Ross Investigative Homepage.
Dr. Tim Sloan, a California heart surgeon, lost his life savings — about $340,000 — to Nigerian scammers before he realized the suitcase full of black money that he was told was worth $3.8 million was little more than black construction paper. "I don’t like being a fool," Dr. Sloan told ABC News. After Dr. Sloan made contact with 20/20, ABC News secretly taped a meeting with the scammers who had performed the bill washing demonstration for him. They came to collect $25,000 in cash they said would buy enough of the magic chemical to clean $15 million dollars worth. "Now is the money we’re giving you, the $25,000, is that enough money to clean the entire $3.8 million?" ABC News Producer Len Tepper asks on the undercover tape. "Yeah, not only the 3.8. It will clean the entire $15 million," the scammer, Mr. Davidson, tells him. Then the tables are turned, and the scammers get scammed. Brian Ross: Excuse me, excuse me gentlemen. Brian Ross from ABC News. What is this? Scammer: I have never seen anything like this. Brian Ross: Come on, feel this. This is construction paper. This is a scam. The scammer’s sobbing did not impress Dr. Sloan, who asked them to leave. The scammers left, but they left behind the suitcase of black money and yet another victim bankrupt and humiliated. And the victims include hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans, among them a former congressman and a group of Christian community leaders in Delaware.

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