"The same language was used with one person after another …
it didn't matter if it was male or female," said Annette Williams, an assistant U. attorney with the Southern District of Mississippi, who prosecuted the case. "These type of transnational criminal organizations solicit their victims between the ages of 45- 75, widowed men and women.
So, what the criminals try to do instead of hook you with that relative that needs help or that Nigerian prince, what they're now doing is trying to spoof the CEO to the CFO," Nunnikhoven said.
So, the criminals can easily pretend to be one of these companies."Unlike cybercriminals in Eastern Europe and Asia, West African criminals tend to have less technical expertise. "This region is far more focused on that social con, on that trick …
when it comes to social crime, it's a finesse. To protect yourself from West African schemes, investigators warn not to get involved financially with anyone you have not met in person.
"I want you to assist me pay the bill," one note asked. J., who asked CNBC to identify her by her initials. "That one phone call took down this massive fraud network," said Conor Mulroe, a Department of Justice trial attorney, who prosecuted the case. "That they had cars that other students didn't have, they had the watches and all of that, and they threw a lot of parties," Annette Williams said. "We have victim statements where people lost their homes," Annette Williams said. "Many of the victims targeted with counterfeit checks, this episode just sent them into a financial spiral that they're still dealing with," Mulroe said. Investigators worked with South Africa and Canada to extradite those responsible.
"He asked me about my family and I asked him about his. "They had no jobs, they had no source of income other than these scams."At the same time, victims in the U. Twelve pleaded guilty and were sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
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"They not only would purchase the textbooks with compromised credit cards, but in most instances, within 48-72 hours from purchasing the textbooks, they would actually sell the textbooks back to the same textbook company online that they stole the books from.
So essentially these textbooks companies were getting the merchandise stolen from 'em.
Now they use more refined scams to rake in millions.
In the past, con artists from Nigeria often pretended to be princes in trouble to get your personal information.
And in the end, they were spending their own money to purchase their own merchandise back," said Todd Williams, the Homeland Security agent.