For the second time this month, federal authorities have arrested a number of people who allegedly participated in schemes designed to intercept and hijack wire transfers from businesses and individuals, including those involving real estate transactions.
Eight more people were arrested and four more were charged with participating in a widespread, Africa-based cyber conspiracy that allegedly defrauded U.S. citizens and companies out of $15 million over the last several years.
The indictment alleges that the conspirators committed, or helped commit, a series of intrusions into the servers and email systems of a Memphis-based real estate company in June and July 2016.
According to the indictment, the scammers allegedly used “sophisticated anonymization techniques, including the use of spoofed email addresses and Virtual Private Networks,” to identify large financial transactions (likely real estate deals), began fraudulently communicating with the relevant parties, and redirected closing funds through a complex network of U.S.-based conspirators and onto final destinations in Africa.
The indictment states that this part of the scheme caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses to companies and individuals in Memphis.
Additionally, some of the defendants are charged with perpetrating various romance scams, fraudulent-check scams, gold-buying scams, advance-fee scams, and credit card scams.
Through the various schemes, the defendants are believed to have caused millions in losses to victims around the world.