Nigerian Scammer Sentenced for Massive Theft

Nigerian Scammer Sentenced for Massive Theft

( – When you hear about online scams, especially through emails, probably one of the first that comes to mind is the infamous Nigerian prince scheme. Although there isn’t any royalty in the latest report from the DOJ, a Nigerian man is now going to have a lot of time to reflect on his mistakes.

The Scam

Cybercriminals from African nations have been trying to hook victims using various tricks for years. They usually begin with an email from an individual claiming to be a Nigerian prince or some other royalty member. Then, they lure victims in by offering them a ton of money in exchange for helping them get funds out of Nigeria that they can’t take out on their own.

Typically, the scam artist will ask for banking information to make a transfer, sometimes in the millions, before cleaning out victims’ accounts.

Nigerian Scam Artist Pays a Heavy Price for His Theft

Nigerian businessman Obinwanne Okeke received a lengthy prison sentence from a US federal judge on Tuesday, February 16. FBI officials accused him in court of stealing millions of dollars from Unatrac, an export office working on behalf of construction and mining equipment giant Caterpillar.

In April 2018, Unatrac’s chief financial officer received a spoof email that directed him to a website set up to look exactly like the company’s email login page. He innocently entered his username and password, allowing Okeke and his accomplices to access his email account more than 450 times.

They then sent out phony money transfer requests to Unatrac’s financial division, leading to their receipt of 15 massive payments with nearly $11 million never recovered. Okeke pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and received 10 years in federal prison.

Avoiding Phishing Schemes

Numerous variations of Okeke’s phishing scheme exist; too many to name. The best rule to avoiding falling victim to one is by not playing along with suspicious emails.

Never click on a link in an email directing you to a banking institution or some other site containing sensitive or private information. If you think you need to access the site for some reason, back out of your email account and go to the website directly, or call customer support.

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