Design is one of the industries being targeted by a rogue organisation claiming to be part of the Nigerian government.
The organisation is faxing UK consultancies with the offer of payment from Nigerian government coffers if the design groups fax proof of their credentials and their bank details to a Nigerian fax number.
The fax, sent under a Federal Ministry of Works and Housing letterhead from a man claiming to be a Ministry accountant, states it has more than US$33.5m (22.2m) to give away for nothing.
Ian Rowland-Hill, chief executive at the Design Business Association, says he has been contacted by a number of DBA members who have received the fax. He has informed the Metropolitan Police.
Consultancies approached include Siebert Head and The London Design Partnership. Neither consultancy has responded to the fax.
“The police have come across this sort of thing before and are relying on the good sense of business people in this country to realise it’s not a bona fide offer,” says Rowland-Hill. “I’d be surprised if any consultancies respond to this. Those who do are incredibly stupid or greedy or both – it’s a pathetic attempt to get money fraudulently.”