The United States Government has finally issued a statement on a Nigerian Fraud Ring captured for running a BEC scam to the tune of $6 million.
Below is the full statement released by the US Treasury Department;
“Today, in a coordinated action with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against six Nigerian nationals for conducting an elaborate scheme to steal over six million dollars from victims across the United States.”
“The individuals designated today targeted U.S. businesses and individuals through deceptive global threats known as business email compromise (BEC) and romance fraud. American citizens lost over $6,000,000 due to these individuals’ BEC fraud schemes, in which they impersonated business executives and requested and received wire transfers from legitimate business accounts. Money was also stolen from innocent Americans by romance fraud, in which the designees masqueraded as affectionate partners to gain trust from victims.”
“Cybercriminals prey on vulnerable Americans and small businesses to deceive and defraud them,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “As technological advancement increasingly offers malicious actors tools that can be used for online attacks and schemes, the United States will continue to protect and defend at-risk Americans and businesses.”
“Malicious actors are exploiting the increased availability of online tools and technology to target at-risk Americans. The six individuals designated today manipulated their victims in order to gain access to usernames, passwords, and bank accounts in furtherance of the scheme. Several of those who engaged in romance fraud used online tools, including social media and email, to further their social engineering tactics.”
“OFAC closely coordinated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which today released details regarding its indictment against members of the conspiracy. The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) receives romance fraud victim reports from all ages, education, and income brackets. However, the elderly, women and those who have lost a spouse are often targeted.”
Below is the list of Nigerians captured by the FBI;
Richard Uzur – BEC Scam – A loss in excess of $6,300,000 can be attributed to the BEC scheme led by Uzuh and an accomplice
Michael Olorunyumi – Romance Fraud – Losses exceeding $1,000,000 can be attributed to the romance fraud scheme led by Olorunyomi and his accomplice
Alex Ogunshakin – Ogunshakin assisted Uzuh with contacting victim companies and he conducted his own BEC schemes.
Felix Okpoh – Romance Fraud – provided financial, material, or technological support to Uzuh.
Nnamdi Benson – Romance Fraud and Money Laundering
Abiola Kayode – BEC and Romance Fraud – provided U.S. bank accounts to individuals involved in the scheme, one of which was then used to receive a $69,150 fraudulent wire transfer