6 Nigerian cyber criminals sanctioned by U.S for stealing $6m from individuals and businesses

Six Nigerian Nationals have been sanctioned by the Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in a coordinated action with the U.S. Department of Justice, on Tuesday for allegedly conducting an elaborate scheme to steal over six million dollars from vulnerable victims across the United States.

WITHIN NIGERIA learnt that the persons designated by the State Department targeted U.S businesses and individuals through deceptive global threats known as buisness email compromise (BEC) and romance fraud.

The state department disclosed that American citizens lost over $6,000,000 due to these individuals’ BEC fraud schemes in which they impersonated business executives, requested and recieved wire transfers from legitimate business accounts.

The suspects were identified as Richard Uzuh, Michael Olorunyomi, Alex Ogunshakin, Felix Okpoh, Nnamdi Benson, and Abiola Kayode as listed by the department.

In the press statement, it was also stated that money was also stolen from innocent Americans by romance fraud in which the designees masqueraded as lovers 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.”

In a statement posted on the US Department of State’s official website and titled “U.S. Sanctions Nigerian Cyber Actors for Targeting U.S. Businesses and Individuals” the US dept said;

“Technological advancements that provide greater interconnectivity also offer greater opportunity for exploitation by malicious actors who target at-risk Americans.”

“Today, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control took action against six Nigerian nationals, pursuant to Executive Order 13694 as amended, for conducting an elaborate online scheme to steal more than $6 million from victims across the United States.”

“The six individuals designated today manipulated their victims to gain access to their sensitive information and financial resources.  The U.S. will not tolerate such gross misuse of technology.”

“The United States will use all of the tools at our disposal to defend the American people and businesses from malign actors that seek to target them, including cyber-enabled actors who prey on vulnerable Americans and businesses.”


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