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Scammers send you a fake email, pretending to be the Linked In administrative team.The email asks you to confirm your email address and/or password.To do this, Iro and Igbokwe coordinated the transfer of a victim’s funds from a fraudulent bank account they controlled to U. bank accounts belonging to illicit money exchangers.Those money exchangers, in turn, used a Nigerian banking application to transfer other funds in naira (₦), the currency of Nigeria, from Nigerian bank accounts they controlled to the Nigerian bank accounts specified by Iro and Igbokwe.“Billions of dollars are lost annually, and we urge citizens to be aware of these sophisticated financial schemes to protect themselves or their businesses from becoming unsuspecting victims.The FBI is committed to working with our partner agencies worldwide to continue to identify these cyber criminals and to dismantle their networks.” Iro and Igbokwe essentially were brokers of fraudulent bank accounts.Linked In is one of the most popular professional online networks, and its users are sometimes targeted by online scammers.These scammers may send Linked In users emails that appear to be from Linked In but are not, either infecting your computer with malicious software or stealing your personal information.
Once a victim deposited funds into a bank account or a money services account, Iro and Igbokwe allegedly coordinated with others to further launder the funds.
Members of the conspiracy sometimes wired funds to other bank accounts under their control; in other cases, they simply withdrew funds as cash or negotiable instruments such as cashier’s checks.
When stolen funds were withdrawn as cash, the defendants frequently used illicit money exchangers to move funds overseas, generally avoiding transferring the funds directly through banking institutions, the indictment alleges.
Some of the victims of the conspiracy lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fraud schemes, and many were elderly.
“This case is part of our ongoing efforts to protect Americans from fraudulent online schemes and to bring to justice those who prey upon American citizens and businesses,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna.