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Tears, Losses, as IT Fraudsters Milk Nigerians

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One in ten adults in Nigeria has been the victim of mass marketing fraud, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations have shown.
At least 14 million Nigerians have handed cash and other valuables to fraudsters after being approached by scammers by email, letter or telephone.
It is hard to estimate the total cost of the scams but the pains and tears of the crime is so touching.
Some victims experience such high degrees of shame, or fear about the loss of personal and professional respect and credibility, that they choose not to disclose their victimization to family members, friends, or professional colleagues.
Some feel their losses are not large enough to report, do not want to get involved, think law enforcement agencies will not take the crime seriously, or think nothing will result from reporting the crime. Sadly, they are often right.
Mass marketing fraud uses mass communication tools such as phone, internet or mail to reach large numbers of people cheaply and easily.
Fraud deceives a person by unfairly misrepresenting truth. It also restricts the freedom of its victims as it robs them of their money.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that the scams centre on an advance fee, whereby prizes or large sums of money are offered, but to access them, the victim is asked to pay a small fee.
Check a typical mass market fraud “Good day, am Mr. Frank Mike Fubara, I work with (MTN) Abuja, send HUNT to 77777 to win N1 million and I will help you by working it for you so that you will win the money from treasure hunt promotion, bye”
This obviously not from MTN and no staff of the GSM Company will associate himself with so plot.
But while these fraud schemes may take a wide variety of forms, they share a common theme: the use of false and/or deceptive representations to induce potential victims to make advance fee-type payments to fraud perpetrators.
Police authorities in Nigeria said that such scams are increasingly being operated by organised criminals who see the potential for large profits.
Fraudulent telemarketers often target women, the elderly as potential victims, not because they are greedy, but because they are more likely to: have money, property, savings, and investments; be receptive phone solicitations; and remain on the phone longer to hear fraudulent sales pitches (due to loneliness).
But there is no typical profile for swindlers, neither is there one for their victims. Virtually anyone can fall prey to fraudulent crimes
A senior policeman who does not want to be named said that there are serious inter-agency enforcement efforts to combat mass marketing fraud.
He particularly singled out MTN Nigeria which he said has set up subscriber fraud unit that is responsible for preventing, detecting and managing incidents of fraud by MTN subscribers.
To avoid mass marketing fraud, experts advised that if you receive a letter, email or telephone solicitation from another country asking you to send personal banking information, do not reply in any manner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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US Nabs Anyanwu, Alleged Nigerian Hacker behind $1m Airplane Scam

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Houston police officers and FBI agents have arrested 36-year-old Cletus N. Anyanwu for allegedly masterminding an audacious cyber scam in 2018 that resulted in hackers stealing nearly $1 million from a company in New Zealand that intended to purchase an airplane from an Australian company.

US Nabs Anyanwu, Alleged Nigerian Hacker behind $1m Airplane Scam

While it may seem amusing that a company paid out nearly a million dollars to scammers instead of to the original recipient, the truth is that today’s scams are so foolproof and sophisticated that even the world’s largest corporations fail to spot large-scale frauds that ultimately result in huge financial losses.

According to Texas Police that announced the arrest this week, Anyanwu masterminded the financial side of an elaborate cyber scam in 2018 that involved scammers infiltrating the email accounts of a company in New Zealand that was to purchase an airplane and an Australian company that was selling it.

The cyber crime gang led by Anyanwu interfered with the business emails between the New Zealand-based company and the Australian company and substituted the bank routing information on the deal by replacing the account details of the Australian company with details of bank accounts that were set up as part of the scam.

This way, the scammers were able to redirect two bank transactions for $15,000 and $913,000 to accounts in Houston.

The high-value theft led to two and a half years of investigations that culminated in the arrest of Anyanwu.

Texas Police claims that Anyanwu himself laundered as much as $300,000 of the stolen money himself.

“Cyber fraud is among the fastest-growing crimes in the world. Small businesses can be crushed, a government can be held hostage, or a corporation brought to a standstill all by hacking and fraud. We are dedicated to helping victims by bringing cyber terrorists and thieves to justice,” said Kim Ogg, Harris County district attorney.

“We’re trying to stop all kinds of computer and email scams, including business scams like this. This company lost a million dollars, and that money is just gone,” said prosecuting Attorney Keith Houston.

This is not the first time that a large corporation with sizable funds has been fleeced by scammers employing business email compromise tactics.

In 2017, employees at India’s only government-owned airline company Air India fell for a phishing scam orchestrated by Nigerian hackers who posed as employees of Pratt & Whitney and duped the latter into transferring $300,000 (£230,905) to a bank account located in Nigeria.

In September 2017, a scammer also conned MacEwan University in Canada out of 11.8 million CAD after he convinced employees to change payment details for a vendor using email communications.

After the phishing attack was discovered, the university said that “controls around the process of changing vendor banking information were inadequate, and that a number of opportunities to identify the fraud were missed.”

“In late September 2019, an employee of Nikkei America, Inc. (New York City, United States) (“Nikkei America”), a subsidiary of Nikkei Inc. (“Nikkei”), had transferred approximately 29 million USD (approximately 3.2 billion Japanese Yen) of Nikkei America funds based on fraudulent instructions by a malicious third party who purported to be a management executive of Nikkei.

In December last year, a Lithuanian national was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing $121 Million (£92 million) from Google and Facebook between 2013 and 2015 by impersonating a vendor company in emails.

Rimasauskas impersonated a vendor company named Quanta Computer and demanded payments for goods and services from Google and Facebook employees.

Once he received the said payments, he transferred the money to a number of banks located in countries like Latvia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary, and Hong Kong.


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NESREA Partners UN to Clear 300,000 Tonnes of eWaste in Lagos

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National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) is to collect over 300,000 tonnes of e-waste in Lagos.

NESREA Partners UN to Clear 300,000 Tonnes of eWaste in Lagos

This is part of the project on circular economy approaches for the electronics sector in Nigeria.

Prof. Aliyu Jauro, director-general of NESREA, disclosed this in Lagos during the four-day training for government regulators and the value chain as part of awareness creation on the circular economy approaches in the electrical electronics sector.

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) fund project is implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and executed by the NESREA with the project location is in Lagos.

According to Jauro, part of the objectives of the project on circular economy approaches for the electronics sector in Nigeria is to collect and treat 300,000 tons of e-waste.

He explained that e-waste if not properly handled could pose danger to humans and contaminate the environment.

“The capacity development is to empower government inspectors and relevant stakeholders with technical knowledge and the value chain to conduct their operations in an environmentally sound manner.

“Both new and used EEE contain hazardous substances, which can contaminate the environment if the processing of end of life equipment or e-waste is not properly handled.”

He said the e-waste to be collected in the state would be treated in order to showcase the best way of collecting and treating the substance to practitioners in the electronics sector.

Dr. Justin Bartholomew, a representative of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), endorsed the e-waste collection programme.

He said the training would empower the regulators to be able to evaluate the compliance of electronic product manufacturers.


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Zedvance Partners AMARA MEDICARE to Offer Discounted Health Plans

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Leading consumer finance company, Zedvance, has announced a partnership agreement with AMARA MEDICARE that will enable its customers in Lagos have access to discounted health benefits on eye, dental or ENT care services.

The company disclosed the partnership at its Head Office in Victoria Island, Lagos.

According to Ever Obi, Managing Director of Zedvance Finance, the partnership is part of the company’s commitment to always put its customers first. “As a customer-centric fintech company, we believe there is no better way to support our customers at this time than to care about their health”, he said.

“With this partnership with AMARA MEDICARE, all new and existing customers with a Zedvance loan of N100,000 and above will get up to 50% discount on eye, dental or ENT care services at any of the clinic’s centres in Lagos. This offer will be available from 1st – 31st December 2020.”

Speaking further on the initiative, Emeka Emenike, co-founder of AMARA MEDICARE noted that customers of Zedvance will have access to 50% off hearing tests (Audiometry) and teeth whitening at Amara Medicare centres in Ikoyi, VGC, Eleganza Gardens, Ajah and Sangotedo. They can also get 25% off ophthalmic services”.

AMARA MEDICARE is a patient centric healthcare company focused on the ophthalmic, ENT and dental segment.

Zedvance loans are available to salary-earners in Nigeria with qualifying customers receiving loans in less than three hours (for already existing customers) and less than five hours (for new customers).


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