Kenyans are among the 281 cybercriminals who were arrested in a four-month-long crackdown which ended in September, the US Department of Justice has revealed.
“BEC, also known as “cyber-enabled financial fraud,” is a sophisticated scam often targeting employees with access to company finances and businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments,” the statement read.
It added that: “The same criminal organizations that perpetrate BEC also exploit individual victims, often real estate purchasers, the elderly, and others, by convincing them to make wire transfers to bank accounts controlled by the criminals.”
The US Department for Justice was categorical in explaining the dealings of the suspects.
It said that they employ various scrupulous means to deceive and drain their targets financially. It said that they can fake a romantic relationship with the victims before asking for money, use fake online vehicle sales, fake online jobs, fake lotteries, and fake rental property.
The BEC schemes hit individuals, small and large businesses in 2018. “The devastating effects these cases have on victims and victim companies affect not only the individual business but also the global economy.
According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), nearly $1.3 billion in the loss was reported in 2018 from BEC and its variant, Email Account Compromise (EAC), nearly twice as much as was reported the prior year,” the US Department of Justice said.