Tag Archives: cybercrime

COVID-19: Police draw attention of Nigerians to cybercrime’s new method.

The Nigeria Police Force has warned Nigerians on the new method fraudsters have devised to defraud people during this Coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released, the police spokesperson, Frank Mba, said intelligence at the disposal of the Force indicates that fraud and cybercrime are expected to rise at this time owing to the lockdown emplaced by Government at all levels to contain the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Mba said intelligence obtained from the INTERPOL Headquarters shows that scammers in Nigeria and other parts of the globe have begun to create and set up fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, fake social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver (covid-19) medical products.

He noted that in some cases, the fraudsters use the names of prominent companies involved in the production and distribution of these items. Victims are then asked to pay via bank transfer.

According to Mbah, the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu, has enjoined all Nigerians to strictly adhere to the following security tips:

i. Avoid opening suspicious emails and clicking on links in unrecognized emails and attachments;

ii. Ensure proper back-up of online and offline files regularly and securely;

iii. Use strong passwords for securing your emails and social media handles;

iv. Keep your software updated, including antivirus software;

v. Manage your social media settings and review your privacy and security settings;

vi. You are advised to be wary of scammers who use names of prominent companies to create fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver medical products;

vii. You are advised to ignore and report calls purportedly emanating from a caller who pretends to be a relative currently being treated at hospital asking you to pay for the cost of the medical treatment by transferring money or by paying cash to fake public health representatives;

viii. Do not open letters or emails related to the pandemic from unknown persons who claim to be health authorities. Often times criminals access sensitive information,steal personal information and steal funds of victims by tricking them into connecting to a specific webpage and logging-in with their credentials;

ix. Be mindful of fake news, deliberate misinformation/disinformation and avoid circulating untrusted and unverified messages on your social media handles;

x. Educate your family, especially your children, about how to stay safe online and offline;

xi. If you become a victim, ensure prompt report to the police.

The statement added that the IGP has placed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB), Abuja – Nigeria on red alert.

”The NCB which houses the cybercrime unit of the Force shall in the coming days and beyond work closely with other Interpol member states across the globe particularly to carry out intense monitoring of the internet highway in the most legitimate and ethical manner. This is to engender concerted efforts in cracking down on any individual or all forms of organized criminal gangs that may want to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to perpetrate crimes.

The Force also enjoins commercial bank operators to strengthen their online banking security systems and report promptly any suspected case of fraud and other cybercrime related activities in their banks.

While reaffirming the determination of the Nigeria Police Force in providing support services to relevant agencies saddled with the task of curtailing and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the IGP assures the public that the Force is unrelenting in clamping down on criminals who may want to take advantage of the situation to perpetrate criminal acts” the statement read


Update: Mompha in more trouble as witness spill out some secrets in Court.

The trial of Ismaila Mustapha aka Mompha continued on Wednesday today, before Justice A. Mohammed Liman of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, as a prosecution witness told the court that Mompha did not remit tax to the Nigerian Government for a period of seven months while his company was already in existence.

Mompha is standing trial alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investments Limited, on an amended 22-count charge bordering on cyber fraud and money laundering to the tune of N33bn brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The defendant, who is fingered as a major figure in an organised transnational cyber fraud network, allegedly used his company to launder the funds, part of which he used in acquiring properties in Dubai.

At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, the prosecution called four witnesses, three of which are Bureau De Change operators and an investigator with the EFCC.

Led in evidence by Rotimi Oyedepo, prosecution counsel, Kaina Garba, an investigator with the EFCC, narrated to the court how Mompha ran an unlicensed BDC and lied about the date operations commenced in his company leading to his evasion of tax for a period of seven months.

Kaina narrated to the court that sometime in 2019, the EFCC received intelligence on Mompha’s activities.

The intelligence was analysed and found to be credible.

“Investigation commenced and the defendant was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his way from Dubai where he stays.

“A bank verification was ran on his Fidelity Bank account and it was revealed that he is associated with some accounts one of which is Ismalob Global Ventures Limited.

“Letter of enquiry was sent to the Corporate Affairs Commission and it revealed that he is a director at the company and the sole signatory to the account.

“Letter of enquiry was sent to the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering and the Central Bank of Nigeria to ascertain if the company was registered and licensed to carry out BDC activities and the responses showed that Ismalob was not a licensed BDC neither was it registered with SCUML,” he said.

Kaina also revealed to the court that a letter was written to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the response showed that there was a suppression of seven months on the date when transactions commenced at Ismalob and for those months, there were no payment of taxes by the company.

He further said that the analysis of the Statement of Account on the Fidelity Bank account of Ismalob revealed a total turnover of over N8bn between December 2015 and September 2019.

Justice Liman adjourned further hearing in the matter to Thursday.


Three Cyber Cafe operators nabbed after extorting JAMB applicants

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Oyo State Command, on Monday, paraded three cyber cafe operators for allegedly extorting applicants for the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The State Commandant, Iskilu Akinsanya, paraded the suspects at the Command Headquarters in Agodi, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Akinsanya said the three suspects operated LNETWork Cyber Cafe, Value Max and GG Media Cyber Cafe adding that the suspects operates an unlicensed Computer Base Test (CBT) Centre and sold JAMB forms to applicants above the approved price of N4,700.

He said, “The suspects sold the form at the rate of N5, 500 to JAMB applicants which is against the Federal government approved price. The Registrar of JAMB, Ishaq Oloyede, has made it clear that on no account should any centre sell above the approved price.

“Following our intelligence, we gathered that some Cyber Cafe are selling above the price and we swung into action and the three suspects were arrested.”

He lamented that the excesses in the charges would put a burden on the parents and the Federal government frowns at it, adding that it is a crime and part of the corruption being fought in the country.

Calling on applicants not to patronise illegal CBT centres, the Commandant advised them to alert NSCDC whenever they notice any centre selling above the approved price.

One of the suspects, the owner of Value Max Cyber Cafe, when asked told reporters that they were just assisting the students to generate codes and not collecting money from them, saying he was not aware that helping the students to generate codes was a crime.


Woman get 2 years jail for UK benefit fraud.

A Nigerian woman who fraudulently obtained over £114,000 from a local council in the UK, has been handed a two-year jail sentence.

The 49-year-old mother of three identified as Olusola Owoeye, rented out an apartment she bought with fraudulent mortgage while claiming she was homeless, to get a flat given out by a local council. She was nabbed after one of her tenants she charged as much as £820 a month made a complaint at the council.

Nigerian woman jailed over ?114K benefits fraud in UK

The Nigerian woman arrived the UK in 2002 and reportedly bought her house with a fraudulent mortgage application. She was able to buy a house in Erith, south-east London for £156,000 in June 2008 while claiming she was working in the software industry and earning £41,000 a year.

The prosecutors told the court that Owoeye moved out of the house she bought four years later, lived with a friend for some time before approaching the Bexley Council in 2013 for support, claiming to be homeless.

Nigerian woman jailed over ?114K benefits fraud in UK

Owoeye who obtained over £114,000 in five years with a status which does not allow an immigrant to access the mainstream benefits system, homelessness assistance from a local authority or social housing, is thought to be the first person in London to be convicted of fraud after receiving payments while under ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) immigration status.

Justice Jonathan Mann who presided over the case, found her guilty of three charges of fraud following a four-day trial at Woolwich Crown Court last month. She was subsequently handed a two-year jail sentence.

Justice Mann said;

‘There is only one reason you did what you did and this is because you are greedy. For you this was money for nothing.’

While officials are now investigating the Nigerian woman’s right to remain in the UK upon being released from prison, it was further gathered that she might have to sell her home to pay back Bexley Council in south-east London.


4 Nigerian, 11 others charged in the US

…with 18 million cyber crime

The United States government has charged four Nigerians and 11 others to a Manhattan Federal Court, New York, for an alleged $18 million cyber and bank fraud .

The defendants are Oladayo Oladokun, 46, Farouk Kukoyi, 33, Baldwin Osuji, 31, and Henry Ogbuokiri, 32.

Others are Joshua Hicks, 24, Anthony Nelson, 28, Derrick Banks, 27, Ibrahima Doukoure, 61, Jamar Skeete, 36, Paul Yaw Osei, 32, Kowan Poole, 29, Darrel Williams, 62, Daryl Bartley, 58, Garnet Steven Murray-Sesay, 35, and Andrew heaven, 49.

A statement by the US Department of Justice said four of the 15 accused were apprehended in the District of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Eastern District of Virginia on Tuesday while one was already in state custody. Ten are still at large. If found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud and wire fraud, which all the defendants were charged with, they face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Seven of the defendants – Messrs. Ogbuokiri, Hicks, Banks, Pool, Williams, Bartley, and Murray-Sesay- who were also charged with aggravated identity theft, could face a mandatory sentence of two years in prison.

Law enforcement agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs, Police Department for the City of New York (“NYPD”), United States Secret Service (“USSS”) and Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) were involved in the coordinated investigations.

The authorities announced that the fraud was conducted in three phases which kicked off with the opening of more than 60 business accounts using the names and social security numbers of victims of identity theft.

Then the defendants deposit money they obtain by defrauding victims into the accounts. The last stage involves transferring the proceeds of their fraudulent acts into other accounts or by cash withdrawals.

“This case shows that as criminals move into the areas of cyber-related frauds, law enforcement is following. I want to thank the members of the NYPD’s Financial Crimes Task Force, working alongside our federal partners and prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office, in the Southern District, for their success today in this important investigation,” said NYPD Commissioner, Dermot Shea.

“The success of this investigation illustrates the commitment of the U.S. Secret Service is working with our law enforcement partners to confront the continued threat of cyber-enabled financial crimes.

The Secret Service remains dedicated in actively pursuing those whose actions threaten the financial security of individuals, businesses, and the financial infrastructure of the United States,” said Patrick Freaney, the USSS Special Agent-in-Charge.