Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team
SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Major ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. & Scamming News: Famous Nigerian Prince Arrested Along With A Total Of 80 Scammers With $46 Million
This Brings The Total Of Scammers Arrested In 2019 To Over 4,000
This Is Part Of The Indictment Of Over 80 Nigerians For ImpersonationImpersonation An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors. ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. This Month
Famous Nigerian Prince Arrested with $46 Million: The relationship between a Japanese woman and a U.S. Army captain stationed in Syria started online, through an international social network for digital pen pals. It grew into an internet romance over 10 months of daily emails.
Federal agents hold a detainee, center, at a downtown Los Angeles parking lot after predawn raids that saw dozens of people arrested in the L.A. area Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. U.S. authorities have unsealed a 252-count federal grand jury indictment charging 80 people with participating in a conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a range of fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. schemes and laundering the funds through a Los Angeles-based network. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Thursday most of the defendants are Nigerian nationals. (AP Photos)
It ended with the woman $200,000 poorer and on the verge of bankruptcy after borrowing money from her sister, ex-husband, and friends to help Capt. Terry Garcia with his plan to smuggle diamonds out of Syria.
In reality, there were no diamonds and there was no Garcia they were part of an elaborate scam hatched by an international ring of cyber thieves operating mainly out of Los Angeles and Nigeria.
Federal authorities cited the case of the Japanese woman, known only as “F.K.” in court papers, on Thursday when they announced an indictment charging 80 people with stealing at least $46 million through various schemes that targeted businesses, the elderly and anyone susceptible to a romance scam. Most of the defendants are Nigerians.
“We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in U.S. history,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna told a news conference. “We are taking a major step to disrupt these criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. networks.”
The investigation began in 2016 with a single bank account and one victim, said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud.’s Los Angeles office. It grew to encompass victims who were targeted in the U.S. and around the world, some of whom like the Japanese woman lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“F.K. was and is extremely depressed and angry about these losses,” the federal complaint states. “She began crying when discussing the way that these losses have affected her.”
Her relationship began innocently in March 2016 with an email but soon “Garcia” made “romantic overtures,” according to federal authorities. He told her they couldn’t talk by phone because he wasn’t allowed to use one in Syria.
So a stream of emails went back and worth, with her using Google to translate his English into her Japanese. A month into the relationship, Garcia told her he’d found a bag of diamonds in Syria and he began introducing her to his associates, starting with a Red Cross representative who told her Garcia had been injured but had given him the box.
F.K. ultimately made 35 to 40 payments, receiving as many as 10 to 15 emails a day directing her to send money to accounts in the U.S., Turkey and the United Kingdom through the captain’s many purported associates.
The fraudsters even threatened her with arrest if she did not continue to pay and at one point she traveled to Los Angeles because she was told a Russian bank manager had embezzled more than $33,000 of her funds.
Authorities arrested 14 defendants Thursday, mostly in the Los Angeles area. FBI agents could be seen processing suspects in a downtown Los Angeles parking lot before they were arraigned in federal court. It was not immediately known if they had attorneys who could speak on their behalf.
MORE ABOUT THIS STORY:
80 Indicted In Online Fraud Scheme That Stole Millions
Federal agents are on the hunt for suspected con artists in one of the biggest scams the country has ever seen. Eighty were indicted in the U.S. and overseas.
Cameras caught nearly a dozen arrests near Los Angeles as part of a worldwide operation to take down the alleged email scammers. Most arrested were Nigerian nationals who allegedly preyed primarily on elderly victims, with low tech offers to send money.
According to the indictments, the schemes used online romances and fake business emails to steal at least $6 million and overall attempted to take an additional $40 million from victims in the U.S. and across the globe.
“Those fraud schemes have evolved and become much more sophisticated. Nigerian fraud networks now target individuals and businesses alike,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna.
Federal officials have been sounding the alarm on the increasing fraud, creating public service announcements.
In 2012, the SCARS Advisory Board Member Debby Montgomery Johnson fell victim to an online scam involving a Nigerian scheme. It cost her much of her life savings.
“He broke my heart, and my head went with it,” she said.
Romance scams have become a huge part of online corruption and the crackdown was just a small slice. According to the Federal Trade Commission, victims lost $143 million in romance schemes last year. That’s more than any other type of fraud reported to the federal government. However, per SCARS data, this is a gross underestimation, since only 3-5% of scam victims will report these crimes, so the real amount is at least 20 times larger.
80 Defendants In U.S. And Nigeria Charged In Cyberfraud Conspiracy To Steal Millions
After search warrants were executed at multiple locations across L.A. County on Thursday morning, federal prosecutors announced a 252-count indictment that accuses 80 people in the U.S. and Nigeria of participating in a “massive conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a variety of fraud schemes.”
The defendants allegedly laundered the funds through a Los Angeles-based money launderingMoney laundering Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Money laundering can be done through various mediums, leveraging a variety of payment vehicles, people and institutions. network. Eleven of them were arrested Thursday in Southern California, while three others were taken into custody elsewhere in the U.S., according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Two were already in federal custody on other charges, and one was arrested earlier this week. The remaining defendants are believed to be abroad, most of them in Nigeria, authorities said.
According to the indictment, the accused used business email compromise frauds, romance scams and schemes targeting the elderly to defraud victims out of millions of dollars.
The co-conspirators allegedly contacted Valentine Iro, 31, of Carson, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, of Gardena, both Nigerian citizens, for bank and money-service accounts that could receive funds fraudulently obtained from victims.
“These victims are used primarily as money mulesMoney mules Money mules are a type of money laundering where a person transfers illicit funds through a medium (such as a bank account) to obfuscate where the money came from. There are different types of money mules including witting, unwitting, and complicit., by allowing their bank accounts to be used to transfer stolen funds,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Paul Delacourt.
The criminal complaint says Iro and Igbokwe, who were among the suspects arrested Thursday, conducted schemes that resulted in the transfer of at least $6 million in fraudulently obtained funds.
“The overall conspiracy was responsible for the attempted theft of at least $40 million,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
OFFICIAL COMMENT FROM NIGERIA: The EFCCEFCC Economic and Financial Crimes Commission The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is a Nigerian law enforcement agency that investigates financial crimes such as advance fee fraud (419 fraud), scams, and money laundering. The EFCC was established in 2003, partially in response to pressure from the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which named Nigeria as one of 23 countries non-cooperative in the international community's efforts to fight money laundering. The agency has its head office in Abuja, Nigeria. To Help FBI Fish Out Nigerians Indicted In $46M Fraud In Us – According To EFCC Director Magu
EFCC Boss, Ibrahim Magu, Said The Commission Will Work With The FBI To Investigate Nigerians Indicted In A $46 Million Fraud Case In The US
Magu Said The Local-Based Nigerians Who Collaborated With The Ones In The Us Will Be Made To Face The Full WrathWrath Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam. A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability. Of The Law
The EFCC Chief, However, Said The FBI Has Not Yet Reached Out To The Commission Over The Fraud Case
The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, says the commission will collaborate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to the Nigerians indicted in a $46 million fraud case in the United States. The fraudsters, majority based in Nigeria, were, according to FBI, involved in a series of coordinated internet scam obtained from victims in the United States and other parts of the world.
The American security agency on Thursday, August 22 said 14 of the suspects had been arrested while the remaining defendants were “believed to be abroad with most of them located in Nigeria.”
Following the release of the names of all the Nigerians indicted in the fraud case, ThisDay newspaper, citing anonymous sources on Friday, August 23, said the EFCC boss met with a select team at the headquarters in Abuja, to strategize on how to arrest the Nigeria-based members of the fraud syndicate.
Meanwhile, speaking at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja also on Friday, Magu reportedly confirmed that the agency had commenced an investigation into the matter. He said the commission was investigating to ascertain the involvement of Nigerians who collaborated with the ones indicted in the US.
“We will investigate it and we will leave no stone unturned. We will go after those who collaborated with the ones in the US and they will be made to face the full wrath of the law,” Magu was quoted to have said.
The EFCC boss noted that the commission was collaborating with the FBI in two operations notably Operation “Wire-wire” which commenced in 2018 and Operation “Rewire” presently ongoing, both aimed at containing cybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks.. He said the joint operation involved Malaysia, Canada, Indonesia, and the United States.
“We work with FBI in Lagos. We carried out operation wire-wire and the FBI mentioned in their press statement that we are one of the agencies working with them and it was successful,” he said. “But to come out with the list of these 77 Nigerians is very unfortunate. Meanwhile, it is not that we are not doing anything here; we are working and re-energising to storm their hideouts. We’ll also cooperate with our partners. Last time, we were in Ghana because when the heat was on them, most of them were operating from Ghana. We’ll cooperate with our partners to check the menace of Yahoo Boys because it is a borderless crime because you cannot do it alone. So, I’m happy that the Americans participated in the operation,” Magu added.
The EFCC chief also urged the media to sensitize Nigerians about the menace of internet fraud. He lamented that the situation is worrisome as some parents have now allegedly formed an association soliciting for the release of arrested fraudsters.
He said: “I also want the media people to help us tell Nigerians because some people don’t still believe that the activities of these Yahoo Yahoo Boys are still strong. We have a situation where we have Mothers of Yahoo Yahoo Association, I don’t know whether you’ve heard of that. Whenever we arrest their children, they’ll gather around our offices pleading for the release of their children. So, I want you to help us sensitize Nigerians so that people will frown at the menace of 419419 An advance fee scam or fraud (419 scam) is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. The 419 comes from the Nigerian law against this type of scam.. “When you go outside this country, the search exercise they subject you to the moment they realise you are a Nigerian is humiliating. So, if we don’t address this and allow the activities of the 419ers to resume, it will be bad. “For us at the EFCC, we’ll continue to cooperate with both within and outside Nigeria to stop this menace. I want you to give us information and we’ll raid all their hideouts. “We’ll cooperate with other stakeholders and other law enforcement agencies in this country and outside the country like the FBI and the NCA and other law enforcement agencies in the neigbouring countries to make sure we deal with this issue. “We will also deal with any Nigerian who connive with other Nigerians just like this to defraud. We are on the watch-out, we will not leave any stone unturned.” The US government and the FBI, however, have not contacted the EFCC over the fraud. “We have not been contacted but they have acknowledged our participation in their release. I don’t have the details now in respect of the arrest,” Magu said.
Similarly, there are reports that the Nigerian federal government has also called on the Nigerians among the 80 persons indicted by the US for fraud to turn themselves in or risk being extradited. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, said she hoped those indicted will be given a fair hearing. Dabiri-Erewa said though such action may have a negative effect on the image of the country, it does not represent the action of all Nigerians.
She said: “We acknowledge the fact that accusation does not mean guilt, and we hope that all the accused will be given a fair and speedy trial. “We also ask those accused in Nigeria to voluntarily turn themselves in, to American authorities to clear their names, without which the Nigerian government would extradite them if relevant international treaties between the two governments are invoked. “While such actions ultimately have a negative effect on the image of the country, the commission, however, reiterates as it has always done, that the actions of a few Nigerians involved in criminal activities are not and can never be what the majority of Nigerians represent.”
PLEASE SHARE OUR ARTICLES WITH YOUR CONTACTS
HELP OTHERS STAY SAFE ONLINE
A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.
TAGS: Scam News, News About Scams, News About Scammers, Global Scamming News, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, Major Scam & Scamming News, Famous Nigerian Prince Arrested, Total Of 80 Scammers, $46 Million, FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Government,
The Latest SCARS|RSN Posts
– – –
Tell us about your experiences with Romance Scammers in our
« Scams Discussion Forum on Facebook »
– – –
FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?
It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.
Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:
- Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
- Your National Police or FBI « www.IC3.gov »
- The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network « HERE » or on « www.Anyscam.com »
This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.
– – –
Visit our NEW Main SCARS Facebook page for much more information about scams and online crime: « www.facebook.com/SCARS.News.And.Information »
To learn more about SCARS visit « www.AgainstScams.org »
Please be sure to report all scammers « HERE » or on « www.Anyscam.com »
All original content is Copyright © 1991 – 2020 SCARS All Rights Reserved Worldwide & Webwide. Third-party copyrights acknowledge.
SCARS, RSN, Romance Scams Now, SCARS|WORLDWIDE, SCARS|GLOBAL, SCARS, Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS., Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, SCARS|ANYSCAM, Project Anyscam, Anyscam, SCARS|GOFCH, GOFCH, SCARS|CHINA, SCARS|CDN, SCARS|UK, SCARS Cybercriminal Data Network, Cobalt Alert, Scam Victims Support GroupSupport Group In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers., are all trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated.
Contact the law firm for the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated by email at legal@AgainstScams.org