Police have finally arrested Amechi Colvis Amuegbunam, 28, of Lagos, Nigeria. He was arrested in Baltimore and the cops charged him with scamming 17 companies out of more than $600,000. His secret was to hit North Texas businesses.
He remains in federal custody in Dallas. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
Instead of the usual “I am a lawyer acting for the estate of an African prince” Amuegbunam just spoofed email addresses which looked like they came from corporate executives. To make the emails look authentic he transposed a couple of letters.
Employees wired him money thinking it was an official letter. The FBI issued an alert earlier this year about the new cyberattack it called the “Business Email Compromise”. The FBI said it is a “growing fraud that is more sophisticated than any similar scam the FBI has seen before”.
But really, it is still the basic premise and should never have happened. The only thing different thing is that the scammers do their homework and have better mastery of English.
The Dallas investigation began in 2013 when two North Texas companies reported falling victim to the scheme, each losing about $100,000, according to an FBI complaint.
The FBI has identified five other conspirators who live in Nigeria who are subjects of the investigation.
The FBI said criminal groups usually target businesses that have foreign suppliers or regularly make wire transfer payments.