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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Extradited Nigerian national faces several federal charges after $400,000 scam detected by FBI

Sunday Daniel Ganyo, 37, a Nigerian national, made his initial appearance in federal court last Friday, after being extradited from South Africa pursuant to a 2020 federal criminal complaint alleging his involvement in a cyber fraud scheme targeting companies in Tulsa and North Carolina.

Ganyo faces charges for conspiracy; transportation of stolen goods; means of identification fraud; trafficking in false means of identification; identity theft conspiracy and attempt; aggravated identity theft; mail fraud; wire fraud; and attempt and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

“Identity theft and computer fraud have a lasting impact on the financial health of the victims and society,” said U.S. Attorney Clinton Johnson. “We are committed to bringing cyber criminals that target Oklahoma companies to justice, even when they hide behind stolen identities across the world and operate in the shadows of cyberspace.”

“The FBI has a long tradition of protecting American companies from these types of schemes and bringing those responsible to justice, no matter where they are located,” said FBI, Oklahoma City, Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. “I’m grateful for the dedicated partnership of the South African authorities to find and arrest Mr. Ganyo, so that he may face charges here in Oklahoma.”

According to court documents, Ganyo is alleged to have sent a computer services company in Tulsa a spoofed email using a fraudulently acquired identity and arranged for the purchase of approximately $400,000 worth of Microsoft Surface Pro Tablets. The fraudulent email was successful, and an order was processed and shipped to a company in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Ganyo is alleged to have sent a second spoofed email to the North Carolina company, impersonating the Tulsa company, claiming the order was in error and that someone would retrieve the shipment.

The shipment was then retrieved from the North Carolina company, repackaged, and prepared for shipment to South Africa by an unknown coconspirator. However, the FBI was able to intercept the shipment in Memphis, Tennessee, and replace the contents with dummy goods and a tracking device.

A controlled delivery was then executed in Johannesburg, South Africa and the defendant was arrested by partners with the South African Police Service. Investigation continues into Ganyo’s possible involvement in similar cyber fraud schemes in other parts of the country.

The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs worked with law enforcement partners in South Africa to secure the arrest and extradition of Ganyo. The FBI is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Nassar and Thomas Buscemi are prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Members of the public are reminded to be extremely cautious while conducting business on the internet. Check sender emails and URL addresses for irregularities. Use a full-service internet security site that protects your information. Use strong passwords by incorporating at least 10 letters, numbers, and symbols.

Keep your software updated because criminals exploit known software flaws. Manage your social media settings and be careful what you share. For instance, if you share your pets name or reveal where you and your spouse met, you might expose the answers to two common security questions. Secure your home network and public networks by using a virtual private network (VPN). Finally, don’t provide personal information to unsolicited individuals or messages.

Most business won’t reach out and ask for personal information by phone or email. If they do, tell them you will call them back. Then call the main number to inquire about the request. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud report it to your local police.

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