A Nigerian man living in the U.S. on a student visa faces federal wire fraud charges in connection with a sophisticated email phishing scam targeting businesses.
Amechi Colvis Amuegbunam, 28, of Lagos, Nigeria, was arrested in Baltimore in August and charged with scamming 17 North Texas companies out of more than $600,000 using the technique. 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.
He is accused of sending emails that looked like forwarded messages from top company executives to employees who had the authority to wire money. Amuegbunam tricked the employees into wiring him money by transposing a couple of letters in the actual company email, authorities said.
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.”
Federal officials say more than 7,000 U.S. businesses have been scammed out of a total of about $740 million. More on: dallasnews