Nigeria's new government Monday alerted the country's 140 million residents against falling prey to conmen promising fake jobs and contracts at the country's top government hospital.
The warning was the first by the government of President Umaru Yar'Adua, who took power in April and has pledged to clean up the reputation of Africa's largest democracy which is tarnished by endemic corruption and fraud.
"The federal government wishes to alert the general public about the activities of some unscrupulous people who have been using the name of the National Hospital, Abuja, to defraud unsuspecting individuals and organisations," a statement by the information ministry said.
It said the fraudsters were promising "huge contracts and employment" in the emails, adding: "Anyone seeking authentic information about the National Hospital can get it from its official website."
Nigeria is notorious for Internet scams with fraudsters bombarding computer owners with emails, seeking to trick them into handing over bank details or making advance payments on non-existent money-making schemes.
Experts say that the so-called 419 fraudsters -- named after the relevant section in Nigeria's criminal code -- steal hundreds of millions of dollars every year from unsuspecting victims.
The fraudsters send emails all over the world promising the recipients quick financial gains from a make-believe inheritance or fictitious lottery wins in exchange for 'processing fees' of several thousand dollars.
Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2007, 23:45