Scattered Canary – The Evolution Of A West African Cybercriminal Organization

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Scattered Canary – The Evolution Of A West African Cybercriminal Organization

The Evolution and Inner Workings of a West African
Cybercriminal Startup Turned BEC Enterprise

An Agari Special Report

Find Real ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. & Fake Stolen Photos On ScamsONLINE.org
The 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. Scammer Photo Gallery Website
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Scattered Canary – A West African 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. Enterprise

These scammers have ripped off as much as $36B in unemployment benefits in 2020 alone!

In a first, Agari has cataloged the evolution of a Nigerian cybercriminal organization from its emergence as a one-man shop into a powerful business email compromise (BEC) enterprise employing dozens of threat actors.

An Agari Threat Actor Dosier

The following is copyright © 2019 Agary, and is presented to expand awareness of this criminal enterprise and to help victims understand the scope of organizational growth in West African scamming. We greatly appreciate their courtesy in being able to display their work unchanged here.

From the Scattered Canary Dosier Executive Summary

BEC has continued to grow, taking the number one spot for greatest financial losses from Internet crime. In a recent report, 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 Internet Crime  Complaint Center (IC3) reported that more than 20,000 businesses lost nearly $1.3 billion to BEC attacks in 2018. Globally, BEC attacks have cost  more than $13 billion in losses over the past five years.

But with the West African gangGang A gang is normally a group or society of associated criminals with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over a territory or business practice in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Online gangs are not limited by territory and may operate side by side with other gangs while engaging in crime online. Some members of criminal gangs are initiated (by going through a process of initiation), or have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence, or rituals. Gangs are usually rougher and more visible than scammer cartels, and more often arrested. we’ve named Scattered Canary, we have a deeper look at how business email compromise is connected to the rest of  the 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.. With over ten years of visibility into Scattered Canary’s operations, we have deep insight into how the group grew from a single  cybercriminal working Craigslist 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. into an entire organization that consists of dozens of criminals, each with specific tasks.

When the first member of Scattered Canary, who, for the purposes of this report, we call Alpha, began his operations, he was a lone wolf—working  mostly Craigslist scams as he learned the tricks of the trade from a mentor. However, within a few years, he had honed his craft enough to expand  into romance scams, where he met his first “employee,” Beta. Once they had secured enough mules via their romance scams to launder their stolen  money, they shifted from targeting individuals to targeting enterprises, and the group’s BEC operation was born.

Since its inception, at least 35 different actors have joined Scattered Canary in its fraudulent schemes. The group has turned to a scalable model  through which they can run multiple types of scams at the same time. And with multiple tools designed to help them expand their operations and  stay hidden from law enforcement, it is no wonder that they are seeing massive success.

While BEC remains a favorite due to its ease and success, a look into Scattered Canary’s operations demonstrates that these groups are not one-trick  ponies. At any given time, Scattered Canary is involved in a number of different types of scams simultaneously—including romance scams, tax 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.,  social security fraud, employment scams, and more. And this is only one organization, out of the hundreds currently residing in West Africa and  around the world.

With this much involvement between members, and so much connection between crime type, we must look at the bigger picture to truly understand  the enormity of the cybercrime problem.

If Scattered Canary can be seen as a microcosm for the rapidly evolving organizations behind today’s most pernicious email scams, this report  emonstrates that a much more holistic approach—one based on threat actor identity rather than type of fraudulent activity—is required to detect email fraud and protect organizations.

Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com

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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
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. Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
To Learn More, Volunteer, or Donate Visit: www.AgainstScams.org
Contact Us: Contact@AgainstScams.org

The Issue Of Race In 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. Reporting
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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
To Learn More, Volunteer, or Donate Visit: www.AgainstScams.org
Contact Us: Contact@AgainstScams.org

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IN MANY SCARS ARTICLES, WE MENTION TOPICS INCLUDING TRAUMATrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS., ABUSE, SELF-HARM, SUICIDALITY, RISKY BEHAVIORBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams., DISORDERS, ADDICTION, AND OTHER PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS. THE INFORMATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDERS WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.

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