Issued By
Durham County Council


95 million dollar question


Companies in County Durham are being tempted with a 95 million US dollar carrot to give out their bank details.

Durham County Council's Consumer Services say companies are being e-mailed from Nigeria offering a share of the cash.

But Philip Holman, the County Council's Head of Consumer Services, warned people to "think long and hard" before replying and to be extra cautious if asked to provide bank details.

"No one gives money away for no reason at all," he said.

"If you are contacted, under no circumstances should you release your bank or any other financial details.

"Already during the last 12 months, we've received 14 complaints relating to offers originating from Africa," he said.

Companies in the County have received an e-mail from someone claiming to be "Mr Kayode Naiyeju, the Account General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria."

Mr Naiyeju asks for bank details so that a share of the 95 million dollars can be paid into the company account.

Another e-mail comes from someone claiming to be "Mrs Marie Kabila, the second wife of the late President of the Republic of Congo."

She is seeking "a very reliable investor participant" to help her access and invest funds held in a "coded security company overseas."

Councillor Don Ross, Deputy Leader of the County Council, said:  "E-mails and letters of this nature are continually received by residents.

"Everyone should always be cautious when money or personal details are being sought in unsolicited mail."

Anyone needing advice on any consumer matter can contact Durham County Council Consumer Advice on 0191 383 3585 between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday.


Note to News Editors:  For further information contact either Craig Hudson, Divisional Manager on 0191 383 3707 or Peter Fleming, Assistant Head of Consumer Services on 0191 383 3584.