CQ investors caught in $7m African fraud deal

TWO red-faced Central Queenslanders are counting a heavy cost after investing $66,000 in the notorious Nigerian investment scam.

They are among 25 Queensland residents who lost a combined $7 million after being lured by the promise of high returning investments.

A police media spokeswoman yesterday said the investors were too embarrassed to be identified or interviewed.

Financial advisors, lawyers, professors and retirees were among the wide range of people being conned by the internet scams.

Police Inspector Brian Hay said detectives from the Fraud and Corporate Crime Group had found the victims after analysising people who sent money to Nigeria over a two month period.

"In most cases an email is sent describing secret oil venture investments or government contracts with guaranteed high returns,'' he said.

"The victims are then asked for money to bribe the local officials and secure the lucrative contracts.

"Any business transaction that requires someone to hand over cash is highly questionable.

"Potential investors should be cautious of ventures which must proceed under a cloud of secrecy.

"They should also avoid getting involved in an investment that requires the payment of fees to release money or to bribe local officials.

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