A Nigerian 419 gang created official looking documents to trick Citibank into wiring $27 million to bank accounts all around the world.  They illegally accessed an account that the National Bank of Ethiopia held with Citibank.  When Citibank contacted the fraudsters to verify the wire transfers they went as far as impersonating Ethiopian bank officials.

They were ultimately caught because several of the banks that received the wire transfers could not complete the transactions (for one reason or another) and contacted Citibank.  At which point the real National Bank of Ethiopia was contacted and the FBI were involved.  They would have gotten away with too it if they had simply used only a single bank account to receive the wire transfer and emptied it immediately.

This is a highly sophisticated con pulled off by a few very talented people.  Nobody thought that these Nigerian guys could pull-off an Ocean’s 11 type heist.  Well, it wasn’t that complicated, but it yielded amazing results.  Crazy.

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