Threat Management, Malware, Phishing

Jury in Georgia convicts Nigerian man for phishing scam targeting higher education

A Nigerian citizen last week was convicted in a Georgia federal court for his involvement in a $6 million phishing scheme targeting college and university staff members.

On Aug. 9, Olayinka Olaniyi, 34, was found guilty of charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, computer fraud and aggravated identity theft, after phishing employees' university system logins and passwords, and then stealing their payroll deposits by changing their victims' bank account information. Additionally, Olaniyi was also able to access victims' W2 forms and used them to fill fraudulent tax returns.

"The stolen funds were routed into U.S. bank accounts, and the evidence showed that access to these bank accounts was acquired through the use of romance scams, where fraudsters pose on dating sites and apps as potential partners to gain the trust of their victim," states a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Georgia. "At some point, the fraudster will make a request to deposit money into their victim's account and claim to need all of the account information, including their account number, routing number, passwords, and answers to security questions. In this case, all of that information was then used to funnel the proceeds of theft through those accounts and out of the country."

While living in Malaysia, Olaniyi committed these crimes alongside his co-defendant Damilola Solomon Ibiwoye, who earlier this year pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Olaniyi is slated for sentencing on Oct. 22.

Bradley Barth

As director of community content at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for SC Media online conferences and events, as well as video/multimedia projects. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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