Turun Sanomat reports that so-called Nigerian scam letters can still bring a sizeable haul from Finland. There were several cases in Finland last year in which victims transferred up to 150,000 euros, according to chief inspector Lars Henriksson of the National Bureau of Investigation.
The majority of swindlers were from West African countries: Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Senegal. The technique was first seen in Finland some two decades ago.
Most cases unreported
Henriksson says that he believes it is impossible to estimate the true extent of the crimes, as the majority of victims are too ashamed to report that they were tricked.
If a relatively small sum is involved, police do not always even investigate. Often the cases demand international co-operation, and in many countries the minimum threshold to start an investigation is 5,000 euros.
The confidence tricksters can also prey on lonely Finnish men seeking company. Many such contacts come from the former eastern bloc and Indonesia, according to Henriksson.