Problems and Issues
This case deals with an advanced fee scam that has been run out of Nigeria since the mid-1980s but apparently unknown to the Basic Software Company of Hong Kong. On August 26,1998 the owner of Basic Software, Allen Lee, was sent a letter by Tokunbo Jacobs from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Mr. Jacobs claimed to have gotten Mr. Lee's name from a close relation at the Nigerian Export Council. Basic Software was supposedly selected by the Tender Committee at NNCP to assist in facilitating a financial transaction involving an international transfer of funds of $14.3 million USD. Basic Software would receive a 35% share (over $5 million USD) as a commission. Mr. Jacobs claimed the money was available due to an over estimate from a contract executed by an experiate contractor and the tender committee purposely over inflated the original contract. Since the project had been completed and this alleged firm already received their payments, Mr.
Jacobs wanted to share the excess in exchange for an account in which this money could be paid out of. After a month of negotiating, Mr. Lee sent his Vice-President of Marketing, Phil Chan to Largos, Nigeria to complete the deal with Mr. Jacobs. Mr. Chan was unaware he was walking into a situation where he and his company were about to be scammed.
Critical Analysis of the Issue
I am often amazed to read and hear about how people and organizations are easily fooled by empty promises contained in letters from complete strangers. Who could be such a fool to give money to someone they have never met. This case is a classic example of an "advance fee fraud" (AFF) scheme that has been in existence through regular postal mail for more than 20 years, and which has...