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Hushpuppi Saga: A Wake-Up Call On The Importance Of Proper Education About Business Compromise (BEC) Scams



Hushpuppi Saga: A Wake-Up Call On The Importance Of Proper Education About Business Compromise (BEC) Scams
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Hushpuppi Saga: A Wake-Up Call On The Importance Of Proper Education About Business Compromise (BEC) Scams

The Hushpuppi Saga is a trending story that many people have shared severally on different social media platforms around the world. It had also generated a lot of controversies. However, we need to ask ourselves a very important question about this trending story.

Why is it that so many victims fell for the scam?

The answer is simply because the defrauded victims had little or no knowledge about “Business Email Compromise Scam” which was the strategy used by Raymond Abbas aka “Hushpuppi“.

What is Business Email Compromise?

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a kind of fraud in which cyber criminals hack into a corporate email account and impersonate the real owner of the email account in order to lure the company, its employees, partners or customers into transfering money or sensitive information to the cyber criminals or divert their payments to another account created by the cyber criminals.

How it works:

The cyber criminals will do a thorough research about the unsuspecting companies through their profiles, websites, social media posts, YouTube channels, journals, press release etc.

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Alternatively, they will create an email address that is very similar to that of the unsuspecting companies’ email address. In some cases they will disguise as the director, partner, lawyer or customer of the targeted companies and use their identities to obtain personal or sensitive information through email.

Research revealed that Business Email Compromise Fraud had already cost the United States Businesses at least $1.6 billion in losses from 2013 till date.

A typical example of a Business Email Compromise (BEC) was recently reported in the news and has gone viral on social media with thousands of views within few days of the report. In the report, a 38-year-old Nigerian, Raymond Abbas aka Hushpuppi was arrested along with 11 others by the Dubai Police. They were accused of being involved in a “Business Email Compromise” and other forms of internet fraud in which 1,926,400 victims were said to have been targeted by the syndicate.

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The major reason why so many unsuspecting individuals and companies fall victim to Business Email Compromise Fraud almost every day is because they lack vital information about it.

How can you protect yourself or your company against Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams?

You must educate yourself about the warning signs and other safety tips.

Warning Signs of a Business Email Compromise Fraud:

1. It comes with a sense of urgency. e.g. urgent payment, urgent response, urgent subject matter etc. The fraudsters want their victims to respond quickly before they can think clearly.

2. Sudden change in email address. e.g. When you notice a sudden change in the email address of the CEO, customer, lawyer or staff of the company you are dealing with, be suspicious.

3. Sudden change in website: When you notice a change in the website of any company before, during or after a transaction, you should be suspicious.

4. Sudden change in contact telephone number.

5. Sudden change in bank account details.

6. Introduction of third party email into the business transaction.

How to avoid Business Email Compromise Fraud:

1. Individuals and companies should educate themselves on how to avoid Business Email Compromise Scam.

2. When a change in email address, phone number, bank account details, website etc is noticed, report immediately to your bank or anti-fraud agencies.

3. Always use firewall, antivirus and other tools to scan your computers, mobile phones and other devices to prevent malware infections.

4. Before you provide any sensitive, personal or company’s information on any website, make sure you verify the authenticity of the website.

5. If you receive an email that notifies you of a change in the mode of payment or a change of bank account details, make sure you investigate thoroughly by contacting the supposed receiver of the payment via another channel. e.g. phone calls, courier services etc.

6. If you are a victim of Business Email Compromise Scam, report immediately to appropriate authorities for urgent action. e.g. your bank, police or anti-crime organisations.

Rotimi Onadipe

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Who is a cyber criminal?

A cyber criminal is an individual that commits crime with the use of a computer as a tool or as a target. Cyber criminals operate in many ways but the most common way cyber criminals operate in today’s digital age is through social engineering.

Social engineering is a strategy used by cyber criminals to manipulate or trick people into revealing their personal or sensitive information. In most cases it involves interesting and convincing stories from cyber criminals to lure unsuspecting individuals, companies or organisations into falling victim. Common social engineering attacks include:

1. Sending of fake distress messages to unsuspecting victims.

2. Sending an email with a link which will redirect unsuspecting victim to a fake website.

3. Sending a message to an individual that he has won a lottery involving huge amount of money and asking him to provide his bank account details or other personal information.

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4. Sending attachment or apps containing malware to unsuspecting victims.

5. Pretending as a bank, internet service provider, business partner or social media platform administrator and asking of password, PIN or other personal information from unsuspecting victim.


The internet can be a very good tool for learning, creativity, sharing useful information and connecting with people but despite its great benefits, it is also used by cyber criminals to commit crime.

In today’s technology age, cyber criminals can be very smart when it comes to online fraud. They will use all kinds of tricks to target their victims around the world.

As internet usage increases on daily basis so does the amount of sensitive and personal information which are made available on social media. The cyber criminals are aware about this and they always want to take advantage of it.

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However, we must be informed that we all have personal or sensitive information that is worth something to cyber criminals which they can sell out to other criminals or unsuspecting victims. This is why it is very important for us as individuals or organisations to understand the mindset of a cyber criminal.

The mindset of a cyber criminal:

1. He thinks faster than his victims.

2. He is always searching for people’s personal and sensitive information and he is ready to get it at all costs.

3. His main motive is to obtain money or personal information from his victims.

4. He is always learning and thinking of news strategies to defraud his victims.

5. He wants to make friends with as many people as possible to increase his chances of getting more victims.

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6. He doesn’t give up on his victims no matter how pathetic the victim’s situation is.

7. He wants to use his cyber security knowledge to defraud anyone that comes in contact with him at any time.

8. He believes in using different identities to convince his victims.

9. He spends a lot of time to study the mindset of his victims.

10. He has special interest in defrauding the aged people and young children because they are the most vulnerable to cybercrime in today’s digital age.

Conclusively, we must be informed that our greatest weapon and best defense against cyber criminals is to educate ourselves about their strategies so that we can understand their mindset.

Rotimi Onadipe,

Tel: +234-8169121819


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NIN: Buhari wants complete database for Nigerians




NIN: Buhari wants complete database for Nigerians
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NIN: Buhari wants complete database for Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on relevant stakeholders to redouble their efforts in attaining and establishing complete data base of all citizens in the country.

Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, made this call at the commemoration of the 3rd National Identity Day in Abuja.

The theme of the Day is “Identity, a tool for sustainable digital economy and National security“.

He also commended efforts of all stakeholders as regards National Identification Number (NIN), adding it was highly commendable, particularly being able to capture millions within less than a year.

Buhari called on stakeholders in the private and public sector to join hands together before end of his tenure to achieve a complete database for the country.

He reminded all stakeholders and citizens that NIN was key to the success of Nigeria as a country.

“As long as we fail to recognise the gaps then it is difficult to fix our challenges confronting the country.

“With the right database in place, it will guide government to plan and take critical decisions on education, health agriculture.

“Data also will guide government to come up with effective national policies with the issue women, children and unemployment,” Buhari said.

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NIN: Buhari wants complete database for Nigerians

He commended the effort of NIMC for choosing the theme, saying NIN was a prerequisite for the success of the digital and national economy, as well as national security right.

Pantami said there was the need to use efficient ways to deploy national identity trust systems, not only to deliver government services in areas such as social welfare, taxes, voting, health administration, security, and education but also to build an indigenous digital economy.

He also said it would stimulate the private sector and make it thrive.

Pantami, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Bitrus Nabasu, said an efficient, secure, accessible, and reliable National Identity Infrastructure would empower Nigerians to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably, thereby driving social inclusion.

He said the National Identity Day celebration was intended to raise awareness and sensitise the citizenry about the pivotal role of digital identification in Nigeria.

“Our enthusiasm to build a local digital economy, curb widespread economic and social exclusion is hinged on the necessity to assign every Nigerian and legal resident with a unique identity.

“The commission has achieved this through the scale up of Enrolment and Registration Centres (ERCs) across the country and in the diaspora.

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“We have implemented novel policy initiatives that have led to tremendous increase in the registration of persons to over 63 million, counting on the National Identity Database (NIDB),” Pantami said.

He said there was need to continue to reinforce every Nigerian to have a digital identity, irrespective of social class or economic status, saying that the need to sustain the momentum by creating awareness and sensitising the public.

The Acting Chairman, NIMC Governing Board, Bello Gwandu said the gathering brought together key stakeholders and drew attention to the multidimensional importance of identification in the building of an inclusive society.

“This is the third edition of the event since Mr. President approved the designation of Sept. 16th of every year as the National Identity Day, in line with his conviction of the power of digital identification as a pivotal tool in changing the socio-economic narrative of Nigeria.

“It further proves his readiness to provide necessary support to relevant agencies of government with a view to harnessing all identity infrastructure in the country toward bolstering our domestic digital economy.

“Commemorative ceremonies such as this, offer ample opportunity to explicitly reinforce the fact that no country can thrive in this 21st century without a functional and reliable system of national identification,” Gwandu said.

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He said without NIN, government would not be able to effectively deliver public services to citizens and private institutions would struggle to serve their customers seamlessly.

Speaking on the progress of the commission, the Director- General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, said the commission had learnt lessons, forged new alliances and partnerships, transformed, and empowered to institutionalise a sustainable foundational ID for Nigeria.

“Whilst we acknowledge there is more work to be done and many hurdles to cross, I want to state that the commission is on the right path to fulfilling its mandate of providing assured identity to all.

“I want to appeal for the support of every stakeholder in the actualisation of this huge and important ID mandate that has the potential to change the trajectory of our nation.

NAN reports that the occasion attracted the presidential launch of the new improved NIN slip, the upgraded NIMC Mobile app, and the Android software.

All these additions are geared to help NIMC serve the public effectively and efficiently.

News Agency Of Nigeria

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Twitter Ban: FG Sets To Lift Ban In Few Days




Twitter Ban: FG Sets To Lift Ban In Few Days
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Twitter Ban: FG Sets To Lift Ban In Few Days

The Federal Government has again pledged to restore Twitter services in the country, hundred days after the tech giant was banned in Nigeria.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing State House reporters after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.

He said that the government is working hard to restore Twitter’s operations in Nigeria.

“Honestly, we have gone very far. I won’t be specific but we have gone very far,” the minister said.

“Honestly, it is going to be very soon. Just take my words for that. Even Twitter itself gave a progress report on our talks with them.

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“If I want to quote them rightly, they said it has been quite productive and respectful. As to how soon is soon, if the operation has been successful for hundred days now, we are just talking about a few more days.

Twitter Ban: FG Sets To Lift Ban In Few Days

“I can assure Nigerians that we are not unmindful of the anxiety and both parties are working very hard to put a closure on the matter.”

TwitterBan: We Are Monitoring Closely Repression In Nigeria, Says Commonwealth

Nigeria suspended Twitter operations on June 4 after the social media giant deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari for “violation of the company’s abusive behaviour policy”.

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A day after, the suspension was effected by telecommunications companies.

The country joins nations like North Korea, China, and Iran in halting operations of the social media platform.

In spite of the development, many in the country have devised means to sidestep the ban including the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

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