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Many individuals have lost their life savings due to this type of fraud.
Three Nigerian nationals who were convicted of a range of charges - including identity theft and payment card fraud - were sentenced Wednesday to lengthy U. Federal prosecutors say the three were part of a "large-scale international fraud network" that first began operating in 2001, and that 21 defendants have so far been charged in the case, of whom 12 have pleaded guilty and 11 have now been sentenced.
Before joining Information Security Media Group in 2014, where he now serves as the executive editor, Data Breach Today and for European news coverage, Schwartz was the information security beat reporter for Information Week and a frequent contributor to Dark Reading, among other publications.
You would think that after decades of analyzing and fighting email spam, there'd be a fix by now for the internet's oldest hustle—the Nigerian Prince scam.
"'Mike' and his network of cybercriminals from Nigeria, Malaysia, and South Africa are believed to have conned more than million from various companies, with one victim alone losing more than million," according to security firm Trend Micro, which assisted Interpol and Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crime Commission with its investigation.
It's unlikely that the arrests of Mike, as well as the romance-scam gang sentenced this week, will put a big dent in phishing attacks, not to mention business email compromise, 419 or romance scams, because they offer the potential for so much profit.
In fact, groups of fraudsters in Nigeria continue to make millions off of these classic cons.
Schwartz is an award-winning journalist with two decades of experience in magazines, newspapers and electronic media.
He has covered the information security and privacy sector throughout his career.
All three were extradited from South Africa to the United States in 2015.
The fraud network engaged in "numerous internet-based fraud schemes," including tricking people into cashing counterfeit checks and money orders on the group's behalf, purchasing electronics and other goods that could be easily resold - especially on auction site - using stolen credit and debit card numbers, and taking control of online bank accounts using stolen personally identifiable information, the Justice Department says.