Internet dating scams us military
Earlier this month, the FBI’s online crime division – the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) – issued a warning about the rising number of faux lover-boys and -girls who are turning to online dating sites to run romance or confidence frauds.
Besides talking marks into sending money, a rising trend for these con artists is to try to talk them into becoming money mules or drug runners, the FBI said.
Besides cooking up accounts with fake business names that mirrored the names of legitimate companies, members of the conspiracy would also routinely file fictitious business name statements with the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder’s Office.
Those statements would then be presented to banks when the fake accounts were opened.
Iro also is charged with lying to the FBI in an interview conducted during the search.
The suspects also allegedly tried to get at another million.
According to the criminal complaint, which was also unsealed on Thursday, the two heads of the conspiracy were Valentine Iro, 31, of Carson, California, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, of Gardena, California, both Nigerian citizens.
They moved money from Nigerian bank accounts they controlled to the Nigerian bank accounts specified by Iro and Igbokwe.
The two alleged ringleaders would set up bank accounts with a specific business name, if necessary, to trick companies into making payments.
We’ve seen plenty of these scams in past years: FBI numbers show that in 2017, more than 15,000 people filed complaints with the IC3, alleging that they were victims of romance/confidence frauds and reporting losses of more than $211 million.