There are man levels to scamming and Nigerians are often stereotyped as the masters of the craft. One Nigerian man, known simply as “Mike” doesn’t do much to detract from this reputation. According to CNN Money, he allegedly oversaw “an international criminal network that hacked the email accounts of small and medium-sized businesses across the globe.” Mike is accused of finessing businesses in Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, Romania, South Africa, Thailand and the U.S. to the tune of $60 MILLION.
Mike was brought down by a joint effort by Interpol and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). His network was described as follows:
The alleged mastermind headed a network of at least 40 individuals across Nigeria, Malaysia and South Africa who provided the malware and helped carry out the scams, Interpol said. The gang also had money-laundering contacts in China, Europe and the U.S. who provided bank accounts to receive the illicit cash.
The actual scams were sophisticated and lucrative:
Once the scammers had control of the accounts, they sent fake payment requests to the company’s partners and then diverted the funds to accounts they controlled.
One victim was conned into paying $15.4 million, Interpol said.
In another scam, the ring would hack an executive’s email account, and then send a wire fund transfer request to the company employee authorized to handle them. The funds were then paid into the criminal’s bank account, Interpol said.
Further investigation allegedly shows that Mike was also involved in romance scams. One other 38-year-old Nigerian man was also apprehended by the laws.