Two men in Nigeria have been arrested for allegedly taking part in crypto fraud. The pair obtained quite a bit of money by cheating investors and lying to them about their potential returns.
Two Arrests for Crypto Fraud in Nigeria
Force PRO – which is the national cybercrime force in Nigeria – said that the duo admitted to being part of a larger syndicate that specialized in defrauding people of their hard-earned funds. The syndicate is reported to attack investors in foreign countries by assuming false identities and making romantic promises to those they seek to victimize.
In a statement, the police force stated:
In the extant case, a report on their activities was received from Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency in Korea through the Interpol National Central Bureau that in May 2021, the suspects approached the victim, one Baek Seong-hee, a Korean national, via Kakaotalk, a mobile messaging application used majorly in South Korea, in the guise of being a member of the US Armed Forces stationed in Yemen. The suspects used the pretext of a romantic relationship and defrauded the victims of 259,637,941 Korean Won (KRW) worth of cryptocurrency equivalent to about 91 million Nigerian Naira.
Romance scams have been rather prominent in the crypto space as of late. The process occurs when a potential cyberthief takes on an entirely separate identity and pretends to be someone seeking the love and companionship of another. They either pursue others themselves or answer the calls of those looking to find lasting partners.
When they’ve locked onto a victim, things start out normally with courting and wooing and all the other standard elements of a loving relationship. It doesn’t take long, however, for things to take a drastic and technical turn. They begin persuading the person to invest in an alleged crypto platform that they say will give them lots of money and high returns.
Eventually, the person gives in and begins to put their money into the platform, not knowing that it’s controlled by the scammer and his or her associates. When they see that their funds are expanding and they’re potentially making money, they seek to make a small withdrawal. However, they usually can’t unless it’s a specific amount or they’re willing to put more money into the platform.
Most often, those who invest their money via romance scams never see their funds again, and the problem has been persisting for some time.
Who Are the Suspects?
The suspects in Nigeria are Odia Theophilus, age 24, and Ebo Junior Success, age 25. Their hideout was in Benin City in Edo State.
The state of crypto fraud has only grown over the past few years. Aside from romance scams, other major forms of fraud – such as what happened with fallen crypto exchange FTX – have also taken place.