The US government has sanctioned six Nigerians over $6million cyber fraud against its citizens.
Micheal Pompeo, US secretary of state, disclosed this in a statement published on the department of state’s website, on Tuesday.
- The six persons were identified as:
- Benson Orson
- Kayode Abiola
- Ogunshakin Alex
- Okpoh Felix
- Olorunyomi Micheal
- Uzuh Richard
Information from the US department of treasury website showed that the perpetrators of the fraud are between the ages of 32 and 37.
The US government also included the names of the Nigerians in its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) specially designated nationals list, under the section of “cyber-related designation”.
Pompeo said the victims were defrauded through the use of sensitive information and financial resources derived by manipulative means.
He said the US government will not tolerate any fraud act against its citizens, adding that the country would also prevent an abuse of technology.
“Technological advancements that provide greater interconnectivity also offer greater opportunity for exploitation by malicious actors who target at-risk Americans,” the statement read.
“Today, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control took action against six Nigerian nationals, pursuant to Executive Order 13694 as amended, for conducting an elaborate online scheme to steal more than $6 million from victims across the United States.
“The six individuals designated today manipulated their victims to gain access to their sensitive information and financial resources. The U.S. will not tolerate such gross misuse of technology.
“The United States will use all of the tools at our disposal to defend the American people and businesses from malign actors that seek to target them, including cyber-enabled actors who prey on vulnerable Americans and businesses.”
In May, government officials in Washington acknowledged that the state lost hundreds of millions of dollars to a fraud ring suspected to be perpetrated by Nigerians.
It had earlier been reported that the attackers are suspected to have used information about US citizens such as social security numbers to file for unemployment claims on behalf of people who have not been laid off.
It is suspected that social security numbers of first responders, government personnel and school employees were compiled from previous cyber hack activities.
Suzi LeVine, commissioner of the state employment security department (ESD), had said law enforcement agents are working on recovering as much money as possible and the department has taken steps to prevent new fraudulent unemployment claims from being filed or paid.