I have a tax liability
question regarding an account in Zenith Bank in Nigeria. I reside in the United States
and I have met a friend only online who is in the UK. WE have never met but have been corresponding for about 10 months now. He had his lawyer who is in Lagos, Nigeria put the $500,000 inheritance
his father left him into a savings account in Zenith Bank and also put this account into my name, Leith L Cobb. The lawyer provided me with a Zenith Visa ATM debit card for the purpose of accessing the funds in this account. This card DOES work as I withdrew only $20.00 from the account and found that there was only a balance of $40.00.
I received an email from the lawyer telling me that as the beneficiary
of the fund, I am reqiured to provide a certificate (EU), known as the AAA (Approval Authentication Authorization) to be signed by the president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He said this is because of the HUGE AMOUNT of money leaving Nigeria and entering the United States. He said the cost of the Certificate is $11,500 that I must pay. He also said once I make this payment, the $500,000 in funds will then be accessible using the ATM card.
I have never signed any documentation to obtain the ATM card or to establish an account in Zenith Bank. Am I legally responsible for paying the $11,500 fee? If I don't pay it what will happen? Since the ATM card did work for me here in the US
when I withdrew the $20.00, it's difficult for me in deciding if this is a possible scam or my friend is being honest. Please give me some advice. Thank you