On June 16, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control working in conjunction with the US Department of Justice designated six Nigerian nationals who allegedly used business email compromise and romance fraud to steal over $6 million from victims across the US. According to OFAC, the email compromise scheme involved the use of online tools and technology to impersonate business executives who send and receive wire transfers from legitimate business accounts, and the romance fraud involved the use of email and social media to feign romantic interest in potential victims in order to gain their trust. In both instances, these individuals tricked their victims into revealing their usernames, passwords and bank information in order to steal from them, or sent urgent requests for large sums of money after gaining their victims’ trust.
These sanctions are made pursuant to Executive Order 13694, as amended by EO 13757, that targets cybercrime, including the misappropriation of funds. As a result, all US persons are prohibited from transacting with the designated individuals, and all of their property or property interests within the US are blocked.