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The men caught during Brian's investigation are facing criminal charges.
"It's [also] a corrupt country where the leaders have been corrupt for years."Until very recently, it was a law that was almost never enforced," Brian says."Police here say at any given time, there are thousands of 419 men online at small Internet cafes trying to scam Americans." Local investigators help Brian infiltrate a cafe, where they catch con men in the act."He had supposedly been in a logging truck accident, and needed to the United States for some reconstructive surgery," Patricia says.The man told her that before he could travel, he needed the use of someone's bank account to transfer funds from Nigeria to the United States."[He said] he was in great pain." Once Patricia agreed to help, the man asked her to wire him $10,000 to cover his international banking fees. Before she knew it, she had emptied her checking account and maxed out all her credit cards.
In all, Patricia says she sent the stranger in Nigeria $50,000.
According to Brian Ross, ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent, this e-mail scam—and others just like it—are so seductive that many victims end up losing their life savings or going to prison.
During a three-month 20/20 investigation, Brian uncovered thousands of cons on the Internet, which he says is home to the greatest collection of scam artists ever.
They've doomed their people to a life of poverty, and the lesson has been taught that you can get away with crimes and nothing happens." For years, Nigerian con men got away with their crimes and made small fortunes..not anymore.
Pressure from the United States and Great Britain has prompted the government to start cracking down.
What do a Florida lawyer, a California heart surgeon and a New Hampshire accountant have in common?