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Guinea Business Fraud

Ghana's credit card fraud, documentation and destination inspection, import licenses, etc.

Guinea Business Fraud

Postby bridgat » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:30 am

BUSINESS FRAUD: Commercial scams and disputes with local business partners have created legal difficulties for some U.S. citizens. Corruption is widespread in Guinea. Business is routinely conducted through the payment of bribes rather than by the rule of law, and enforcement of the law is irregular and inefficient. The ability of the U.S. Embassy to extricate U.S. citizens from illegal business deals is extremely limited.

Perpetrators of business fraud often target foreigners, including Americans. While such fraud schemes in the past have been largely associated with Nigeria, they are now prevalent throughout western Africa, including Guinea. The scams pose a danger of both financial loss and physical harm. Recently, an increasing number of American citizens have been the targets of such scams.

Typically, these scam operations begin with an unsolicited communication (usually by e-mail) from an unknown individual who describes a situation that promises quick financial gain, often by assisting in the transfer of a large sum of money or valuables out of the country. A series of "advance fees" must then be paid in order to conclude the transaction: for example, fees to open a bank account, or to pay certain taxes. In fact, the final payoff does not exist; the purpose of the scam is simply to collect the advance fees. One common variation of this scheme involves individuals claiming to be refugees or other victims of various western African conflicts (notably Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote D'Ivoire) who contact U.S. citizens to request their help in transferring large sums of money out of Guinea. Another typical ploy has persons claiming to be related to present or former political leaders who need assistance to transfer large sums of cash. Other variations include what appear to be legitimate business deals requiring advance payments on contracts.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of advance-fee fraud is common sense - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Any unsolicited business proposal originating from Guinea should be carefully checked out before any funds are committed, any goods or services are provided, or any travel is undertaken. For additional information, single copies of the Department of State's brochure, "Advance Fee Business Scams", are available at no charge by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Office of Overaseas Citizens Services, Room 4811, Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
bridgat
 
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