The day after his 29 birthday in may of this year, Olalekan Jacob Pole posted in Instagram your photo on the background of bright-yellow Lamborghini in Dubai, the BBC reports.
“Don’t let people make me feel guilty for the wealth that you got”, instructs its users Ponle dressed in Gucci from head to toe.
A month after publishing this post the Nigerian, known in Instagram under the name mrwoodbery, was arrested by the Dubai police on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.
Pole was among the 12 Africans detained during the police operation. The most famous of them was 37-year-old Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, aka instagrammer hushpuppi with 2.4 million subscribers.
Police seized $ 40 million in cash, 13 luxury cars worth 6.8 million dollars has 21 computers, smartphones and 47 the addresses of the two million alleged victims of fraudulent transactions.
And Abbas, and Pole was extradited to the United States. The court in Chicago charged them with the conspiracy to commit Internet fraud and the laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars, has as a result of cybercrime.
Both of them awaiting an opportunity to admit or deny his guilt and is considered innocent until proven guilty by the court.
“I think there is some measure of arrogance — they believe that acting cautiously in terms of their anonymity online, but live lavishly and so frivolous social networking, said Glen Donath, a former senior U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.
The arrest was spectacular failure for these two men who have recently enthusiastically documented his luxurious lifestyle on social media. These posts have raised questions about the sources of their wealth.
Without realizing it, their posts in social networks Abbas and Pole gave investigators from the United States information about who they are and what they do.
Them accuse that they were posing as employees of various U.S. companies. They sent out letters to addresses corporate email and deceit encouraged the recipients of these letters to smuggle millions of dollars in their personal accounts.
On his page in Instagram the user hushpuppi claims that is engaged in the construction business, and among the photos and video he has a folder called “flexing student plastic” — a slang expression meaning “to brag” and “flaunt”.
However, instead of real estate profits he brought Bank account, which were proceeds of the fraudulent scheme, according to investigators.
“We in Nigeria need to rethink the system of values — especially the emphasis that we make on wealth, no matter how reached, — told in interview Bi-bi-si, the economist Ebuka Albina. In our culture people believe that your successes speak for themselves. And the process to achieve them isn’t important. This trend for a long time increased”.
In April hushpuppi extended the lease of its exclusive apartments in a luxurious Palazzo Versace for another year, using his real name and phone number.
“Thank you, Lord, for all these blessings in my life. Continue to shame those who are just waiting to embarrass me,” he made a photo caption in Instagram just two weeks before his arrest.
“Abbas funded a luxury lifestyle of criminal activity. It is one of the leaders of international networks facilitating the invasion of other people’s computers, fraud and money laundering aimed at victims around the world, through schemes designed to steal millions of dollars,” — said in a written statement to the FBI.
In one case, a financial institution allegedly lost 14.7 million dollars, becoming the victim of fraud, in which money was in the accounts hushpuppi in different countries.
In his testimony, the FBI also mentions a scheme aimed at kidnapping 124 million dollars from an unnamed team of the English Premier League.
The FBI gained access to the accounts hushpuppi in Google, Apple iCloud and social networks. According to investigators, they had found the Bank and passport details, as well as correspondence with other members of fraudulent schemes and confirmation of the electronic transfers.
About 90% of the schemes fraud email are in West Africa, the study showed American companies Agari, dedicated to ensuring e-mail security.
The charges against Abbas and Pole describes a tactic that experts from Agari is called “the compromise of the email provider”. The scammers get access to email box and study the letters between the consumer and the supplier.
“Observing this correspondence, the scammers accumulate contextual details,” explains crane Hassold, senior Director for research of threats to email from Agari.
“The criminals then make up emails to consumers so that they resembled the emails from the vendor indicate that the vendor has changed Bank account lead to a “new Bank details”, and at this point, the money disappears,” adds Hassold.
Pole, known in social networks as mrwoodberry, used the email with the name mark Kane, said the FBI.
He is accused of extortion 15.2 million dollars from the Chicago-based company. Among the victims are the companies in the States of Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, new York and California.
Money trail, according to data charges, disappears after accomplices in Ponle transfer money in cryptocurrencies bitcoin.
Email fraud is so widely spread worldwide and so strongly associated with Nigeria, that people involved in them, in the country received the nickname the “Yahoo-boys”.
They are either trying to convince consumers to transfer money across the world, or engaged in “phishing” theft of personal data of Internet user to commit fraud.
FBI warns about the so-called “Nigerian letters” — one of the most common types of fraud, and assigned the code “419” — the emails asking for financial support from the sender for the subsequent large rewards to the recipient.
Last year, the US Treasury Department added six Nigerians in the cyber most wanted list, consisting of 79 persons and organizations. The Finance Ministry accuses them of kidnapping more than 6 million dollars from U.S. citizens through fraudulent schemes such as “Nigerian letters”.
Many cheaters are not caught, but in prison is altogether a small fraction of criminals.
If Abbas and Fuller found guilty, they face up to 20 years in prison.