| | | | | | | |

$5.3m BEC fraud: US traces funds to Nigeria, Hong Kong, others

The United States (US) government on Wednesday filed a civil forfeiture action in its bid to recover the sum of $5,315,746 alleged to be proceeds of a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scheme targeting a Massachusetts workers union and property involved in money laundering.

This was disclosed in a statement by the US Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts with the complaint alleging that in January 2023, a workers union located in Dorchester received an email asking for a change of payment information from someone it believed worked at an investment consulting firm.

“The complaint also alleges that the email came from what initially appeared to be the consulting firm’s true email address but was in fact a spoofed email address that had been changed by one letter,” the statement read.

READ ALSO: Nigerian faces 20-year jail term in US for alleged $7.5m BEC fraud

“The spoofed email instructed the workers’ union to make a $6,400,000 transfer to a different bank account than had been previously arranged, which the workers union did, in fact, do.

“The spoofed email, however, was a fraudulent communication intended to mislead the workers union into unwittingly transferring funds to an account controlled by someone other than the intended recipient.”

According to the statement, the fraudulently obtained funds were then allegedly transferred through a series of intermediary bank accounts.

It was also discovered that some funds were transferred or attempted to be transferred to a cryptocurrency exchange and various bank accounts located in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Nigeria.

The report added that the investigators were able to trace proceeds of the scheme to seven domestically held bank accounts, the contents of which were subsequently seized by U.S. authorities.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy in a statement on the official website of the US Attorney’s Office also revealed how BEC fraud schemes operate.

READ ALSO: Nigerian bags 10-year jail term in US for romance fraud, BEC schemes

“BEC fraud schemes present a serious threat to businesses and individuals nationwide, causing significant financial and emotional harm to victims by exploiting trusted communication channels they rely upon every day,” Levy said.

“Today’s civil forfeiture action demonstrates that when victims report such misconduct to the authorities there may be steps we can take to recover stolen funds.

“We hope today’s action helps restore some level of stability and justice for those impacted by fraud.”

Members of the public who believe they are victims of cybercrime, including cryptocurrency scams, romance scams, investment scams and business email compromise (BEC) fraud scams were thereafter directed to contact [email protected].

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *