Signs that Nigerian fraud is getting out of control

In July I have a NYC – Accra – Monrovia – Addis – Kampala – NYC flying tour-de-force to check in on several surveys. The only Accra-Monrovia connection the travel agent could find was on something called Nigerian Eagle Airlines. I had an assistant check the safety record online (always a good idea with Nigerian carriers) and all looked okay. Then, a few days after booking, this message:

I just received a call from the reservationist at Orbitz. She has very disturbing news regarding the July 1 Nigerian flight. According to her, she received a call from the Nigerian airline who told her that they cancelled that reservation because they don’t accept credit cards because of fraud. So Chris will have to purchase the ticket when he arrives in Accra on July 1.

Cash on delivery flying comes to Nigeria.

I think I’ll change my itinerary.

4 thoughts on “Signs that Nigerian fraud is getting out of control

  1. I never did manage to find a travel agent in Côte d’Ivoire that accepted credit cards, and to think it was once home of the African Development Bank!

  2. Most websties also block any credit card payments originating in Ghana. A real pain.

    On the other hand, did anyone catch the advertisement for a Nigerian Mastercard before the South Africa – Uruguay match yesterday?

  3. Nigerian Eagle Airline was the new name of Virgin Nigeria following the divestment of Virgin Atlantic. The name was changed again to Air Nigeria after it was purchased by a new investor.

    Air Nigeria’s banning of credit cards is odd, since the other leading local airlines Arik and Aero encourage the use of cards; though locally issued cards.

    In terms of fraud on Nigerian cards, there was a significant increase in fraud in Nigeria in the second half of 2009. Cloning magnetic stripe cards became big business, with fraudsters sending out mass emails that required you to enter your name, account number and pins.

    The fraud has pretty much died down with the switch to chip and pin cards being enforced, and the education drive by the banks imploring atm holders not to disclose their pins to anyone including the banks.

    @ Ryan, since the Nigerian Mastercard is a chip and pin Mastercard, it is probably more secure than any one that would be issued in the United States.

  4. I think this is standard for flights on Nigerian airlines. Even before Virgin Nigeria was taken over they only accepted cash or special Nigerian credit cards.