33 BEC Black Ax fraudsters that stole more than $ 17 million arrested in the US

The American authorities have arrested 33 fraudsters from the Black Ax criminal group, suspected of a BEC scam. The arrests took place last week, and law enforcement officials say the detainees were part of an international crime syndicate with roots in Nigeria.

BEC scam, from the English Business Email Compromise, is a classic fraudulent scheme in which attackers start correspondence with a company employee, seek to gain its trust and convince it to perform actions that harm the interests of the company or its customers (as a rule, transfer money to an account a partner company that the criminals themselves disguise as).

Often, hacked accounts of other employees are visually similar to the official addresses of companies, but differ by a few characters.

Eleven suspects were indicted in the Northern District of Texas and 23 more in the Eastern District of Texas, authorities said (with one suspect facing charges in both counties).

The Black Ax group is believed to have been active since at least January 2017 and has been involved in a wide range of fraudulent attacks, including BEC scams, investment scams, and unemployment insurance scams. In addition, the suspects were involved in romance scams by “working” on dating sites such as, ChistianMingle, JSwipe and Plenty of Fish.

In total, the group stole and laundered more than $ 17,000,000, which the fraudsters received from 100 victims, according to court documents obtained by The Record.

All suspects were members of the Black Ax, a notorious crime syndicate affiliated with the Neo Black Movement (NBM), founded in the 1970s in Nigeria.the journalists write.

Gradually NBM developed into a secret society and cult, and then spread throughout Africa and other countries. If NBM once set itself the goal of combating racism, then later NBM, like many other Nigerian fraternities, began to engage in criminal activities.

According to Interpol, these days NBM is associated with prostitution, human trafficking, drug trafficking, large-scale theft, money laundering and cybercrimes (mostly BEC scams). At the same time, Black Ax is just another name that is used to cover some of NBM’s operations.

The arrest of 33 people was already the second blow to the group in recent times: earlier, in April 2021, Italian police arrested 30 Black Ax members, bringing them about 100 charges, including drug and human trafficking, prostitution and online fraud.

Let me remind you that we also wrote that Scammers stole $ 2.3 million from the authorities of a small American city.

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Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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