Olu Agbi, Nigeria's High Commissioner in Australia, believes that the bad reputation his countrymen have earned through internet-based fraud is a bum rap. He blames the victims.
Responding to a story in yesterday's Herald, which revealed Australians lose at least $36 million a year to the online scams, Sunday Olu Agbi said Australians had failed to heed repeated warnings not to deal with shady characters on the internet.
He said media coverage of fraudulent activity stemming from Nigeria had given the country "a bad image" and "those who want to transact business with us are always very suspicious".
In fact, he thinks that the insufficiently suspicious should be jailed.
Professor Olu Agbi said "greedy" Australians who tried to partake in these crimes – even though they are scams – should be arrested as well.
"People who send their money are as guilty as those who are asking them to send the money," he said.
Who is the more foolish, the fool or … whatever. Pick your metaphor.
He likened victims to gambling addicts. People were in denial about the scams even after being warned because the thrill of a possible windfall at the end raised their excitement and they became emotionally involved.
"The bottom line is anything that sounds too good to be true is too good to be true," he said.
Words of wisdom.