Two Nigerian men were arrested on Thursday as United States authorities clamped down on fraudsters trying to scam unsuspecting victims of $40m.
The group of fraudsters, numbering 80, have been implicated in several Internet frauds until their arrest.
The indictment alleges that at least $6m in fraudulently obtained funds were transferred through a money-laundering network run by two Nigerians – Valentine Iro, 33, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, who have both been arrested together with 78 others.
Federal prosecutors unsealed the dozens of indictments after 17 people were arrested and taken into custody in Los Angeles, California and elsewhere in the United States.
The suspects allegedly targeted the lovelorn, the elderly, and small and large businesses, using a variety of scams to persuade their victims to send money over the Internet, according to a report by the AFP.
“Some of the victims of the conspiracy lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fraud schemes, and many were elderly.
“Billions of dollars are lost annually and we urge citizens to be aware of these sophisticated financial schemes to protect themselves or their businesses from becoming unsuspecting victims,” said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office.