Crime Watch

NIGERIAN SCAM ARTISTS TARGET JEWELERS Massive scam operations in Nigeria - some of which have reached the U.S. jewelry industry - have prompted U.S. authorities to press the African country's government to intervene. Thus far, however, the effort has brought little result, says Sean Stein, vice counsel of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria. In a letter to a New Jersey jeweler contacted by a Nigerian scam artist, Stein says U.S. businesses have lost several hundred million dollars. "But support from the Nigerian government [in curbing the scams] has been extremely limited," he says. "We are not aware of a single Nigerian who has been arrested, tried or convicted." The scams usually involve an individual who claims to need help in moving large sums of money or jewelry out of Nigeria. The person asks his intended victim, usually a small business, to open a bank account in both of their names

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