Nigeria Addresses Its International Reputation for Cyberscams

The government of Nigeria hosted the first-ever West Africa Cybercrime Summit, attended by public and private sector organizations, early this month. The goal was to bring awareness to the efforts of both government and business to combat so-called “419” advance fee scams originating in Nigeria and other West African countries.

Microsoft has released data showing that advance fee fraud accounted for 8.6% of the spam messages it blocked in the second quarter of 2010.

The scams started after the fall of Nigeria’s dictator in the late 1990s. The emails promise an elusive fortune in exchange for advance payments attached to relationships, investment opportunities or - infamously - requests for assistance from “officials," the article says.

These emails have damaged Nigeria’s reputation around the world and the government wants to show that it is fighting back by “fostering partnerships among stakeholders at the national and international level.” More than 200 government, civil society, academics, industry and international organizations participated in the conference, held in Abuja.

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