U.S. police have arrested a multimillion-dollar scam involving the sale of a plane to Australia. In 2018, research began after a BEC attack, through which cybercriminals intervened in digital communications between a New Zealand company buying a plane and an Australian company selling it for $ 1.028.000. Penetrating into e-mail of the two companies, the fraudsters managed to replace the seller's banking routine information with information referring to their own bank accounts in Houston, Texas. With this scam, the fraudsters made $ 928.000.
Thus, a two-and-a-half-year international criminal investigation was conducted that led to arrests and prosecutions. In particular, the investigation led to the arrest of 36-year-old Cletus N. Anyanwu on November 18, by the Houston police and the FBI.
Anyanwu was charged with first-degree felony criminal mischief for participating in organized crime, rinsing $ 300.000 or more. If convicted, he could face between 15 and 99 years in prison.
Harris County Attorney Kim Ogg said Anyanwu was the ringleader of the scam. Court documents show Anyanwu as the leader he organized hackers and banking accounts to receive the stolen money from the fake sale of an airplane that took place in May 2018.
Ogg said cyber fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. He added that the small and medium businesses can be destroyed by this kind of malicious attack, a government can be "held hostage", or a company can "stop it all" as a result of a piracy or fraud. Ogg stressed that police and judicial authorities are working hard to help victims by bringing to justice terrorists and cyber thieves.
According to the report Targeting Scam of the ACCC, BEC scams caused the highest losses of all types of scams in Australia in 2019, at a cost of $ 132 million.
Finally, Harris County Assistant Attorney General Keith Houston, who is handling the case, said their goal is to end all types of computer and email fraud, including BEC fraud.