The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said on Wednesday that its operatives have arrested Udochukwu Ugochukwu Simeon for allegedly cloning its (EFCC’s) e-mail address in an effort to defraud unsuspecting victims.
A statement by the commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, alleged that the 26-year-old suspect created an Outlook email account of the commission, “firstname.lastname@example.org”, and a webmail, email@example.com, which he uses to impersonate the EFCC.
“Investigation by the Cybercrimes Unit at the Commission’s headquarters, Abuja, indicates that the suspect also uses the two fake e-mail accounts to send messages to his victims, while posing as an officer of the commission trying to help his victims recover their stolen monies,” the statement added.
It also stated that Mr Simeon was arrested on April 21, 2021, after he had already received over $3,000 from some of his victims.
It stated that his activities “amount to forgery, identity theft, impersonation and cybersquatting.”
“He will be charged to court upon the completion of the investigation,” Mr Wilson added.
EFCC’s repeated warnings
The case typifies the broader scope of fraudulent use social media identities of the commission or its officials.
In February, the agency alerted the public about the emergence of fake Twitter accounts being created in the name of Mr Bawa.
The commission issued the warning barely three days after the Senate confirmed Mr Bawa’s appointment on February 24.
It said in its statement that over 500 unsuspecting followers had been hoodwinked into following the accounts of February 27.
The statement read in part, “Three of the fake accounts created in the last few days: @AbdurasheedBawa,@AbdulrBawa and@AbdulrashidBaw1; have been attracting followers in droves, believing they were dealing with the EFCC boss.
“At least, more than 500 unsuspecting Nigerians have been hoodwinked by the promoters of these fake platforms.
“The Commission wishes to state that these Twitter Accounts do not belong to Mr. Bawa, and should be disregarded.
“The EFCC called on Nigerians to disregard such accounts in the name of the new EFCC boss.”
In another tweet on April 18, the commission, against issued a similar warning notifying the public “about emergence of a number of fake Twitter accounts masquerading as genuine Twitter handle of the Executive Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa”.
The tweet added, “One of the fake twitter handles: @AbdulRashidBaw1, which was created in February following the appointment of Bawa as EFCC chair, has witnessed a steady stream of followers, an indication that many have been hoodwinked into believing they were dealing with the EFCC chair.
“The commission is alarmed that this prank by unscrupulous elements is unwittingly exposing suspecting citizens to potentially grievous manipulation by fraudsters.”
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