The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has raised alarm over the rising incidences of e-mail spoofing and account takeover by suspected fraudsters. The trend which targets influential personalities in government, the professions and the private sector has assumed a frightening dimension in recent time with not a few people losing their e-mails to the fraudsters who deploy the accounts to various nefarious ends; including soliciting funds from friends and acquaintances of the owners of the accounts.
The Commission observed that Yahoo account owners are the most vulnerable to this scam which has brought much agony to the victims. So far, effort to engage Yahoo to rein in on the perpetrators of this heinous crime has not been fruitful. Yet their activities continue to pose grave threats to the image and integrity of the nation. In view of this, the possibility of a class action suit against Yahoo by victims who have suffered severe emotional and financial losses arising from the actions of the hackers may not be ruled out.
Nevertheless, local banks that have cooperated with the Commission in the investigation of cases of spoofing deserve commendation for their diligence and sense of responsibility.
Meanwhile two suspects, Onuabuike Chukuebuka and Izuchukwu Emewulu, who allegedly hacked into the e-mail account of constitutional lawyer, Bamidele Aturu were today, March 5, 2013 arraigned before Justice Olasumbo Olarenwaju Goodluck of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Zuba, Abuja on a five count charge bordering on intent to defraud and obtain money by false pretence.
One of the charge reads, “that you Onuabuike Chukwuebuka and Izuchukwu
Emewulu and another at large, on or about the 11th day of January, 2013, at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did conspire among yourselves to obtain money by false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 8 (a) and punishable under section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006”.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them. EFCC Counsel Samuel A. Ugwuegbulam then asked the court to fix a date for trial and remand the accused persons in prison custody.