The Guernsey Financial Services Commission and Guernsey Police are aware that a number of businesses and individuals within Guernsey have received correspondence from fraudsters, offering large cash sums for a small outlay and a supposedly risk-free transaction in return for getting the money out of their country.
This correspondence invariably purports to come from an official in a foreign government or agency or someone claiming to have inherited vast wealth. The fraudster offers to transfer millions of pounds into the intended victim's bank account for reasons such as paper currency conversion, property ventures or business investment.
If the intended victim responds he or she is encouraged to travel overseas to visit the author where they will be met in style, taken to government offices, via bribed officials, and then asked for money to cover advance fees. This fee appears insignificant compared to the promised return. However average losses in such schemes exceed £30,000 and it is estimated that £150m a year is lost in the UK alone.
The vast majority of these fraudsters emanate from Nigeria, Ghana or South Africa, and use either email services such as yahoo and hotmail or conventional mail posted from a foreign country or parcelled up and sent to the UK from where it is posted on.
Recipients of any such correspondence are advised not to reply, under any circumstances.
In the case of emails received it is suggested that the entire message is sent to the Internet Service Provider from where the e-mail originated. The email should be addressed to the ISP as; [email protected] (the ISP name).com. (For example, [email protected], [email protected])
In the case of conventional mail, recipients are advised to destroy the correspondence
However, should anyone have had any further contact with these fraudsters or have parted with any money in these circumstances they should contact the Commercial Fraud and External Affairs Department at Police Headquarters on 725111 for guidance.
Additional information can be obtained from the Metropolitan Police fraud alert web site (www.met.police.uk/fraudalert/).