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HomeCrime/SecurityUS hunts down scammers, trace funds to Nigeria, Singapore, others in $5.3m fraud

US hunts down scammers, trace funds to Nigeria, Singapore, others in $5.3m fraud

US hunts down scammers, trace funds to Nigeria, Singapore, others in $5.3m fraud

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Us dollar.

The US government has filed a civil forfeiture action to recover $5.3 million linked to a business email compromise (BEC) scheme that defrauded a Massachusetts workers union.
In January 2023, a spoofed email led the union to transfer $6.4 million to a fraudulent account.

The funds were then routed through various international banks and cryptocurrency exchanges.
US authorities have seized money from seven domestic accounts connected to the scheme.

These were stated in a Wednesday press release obtained from the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusets website on Thursday.

“BEC fraud schemes present a serious threat to businesses and individuals nationwide, causing significant financial and emotional harm to victims by exploiting trusted communication channels they rely upon every day.

“Today’s civil forfeiture action demonstrates that when victims report such misconduct to the authorities there may be steps we can take to recover stolen funds.

“We hope today’s action helps restore some level of stability and justice for those impacted by fraud,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy.

Issued in Boston, the statement also admonished that “members of the public who believe they are victims of a cybercrime – including cryptocurrency scams, romance scams, investment scams and business email compromise (BEC) fraud scams – should contact USAMA.CyberTip@usdoj.gov.”

According to the press release, the fraudulently obtained funds were then transferred through a series of intermediary bank accounts, with some funds transferred, or attempted to be transferred, to a cryptocurrency exchange or various bank accounts located in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Nigeria.

“The United States filed a civil forfeiture action today to recover approximately $5,315,746 alleged to be proceeds of a business email compromise (BEC) scheme targeting a Massachusetts workers union, as well as property involved in money laundering.

“The complaint alleges that in January 2023, a workers union located in Dorchester received an email requesting a change of payment information from someone it believed worked at an investment consulting firm.

“The complaint also alleges that the email came from what initially appeared to be the consulting firm’s true email address but was in fact a spoofed email address that had been changed by one letter. The spoofed email instructed the workers’ union to make a $6,400,000 transfer to a different bank account than had been previously arranged, which the workers union did, in fact, do.

“The spoofed email, however, was a fraudulent communication intended to mislead the workers union into unwittingly transferring funds to an account controlled by someone other than the intended recipient.

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