Nigerian Man Charged In School Teacher Phishing Scam

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Identity theft is one of the most common crimes in the United States. In 2016, approximately one out of every 16 Americans were the victims of identity theft. On Thursday, August 3, the Federal Bureau of Investigation brought justice to one of these thieves.

Daniel Adekunle Ojo, 33, was charged with identity theft and fraud after stealing tax information from teachers in Minnesota and Connecticut from his illegal home in Durham, North Carolina.

IRS agents and the FBI’s cyber-crime unit were able to identify Ojo via a series of phishing emails, which the Nigerian man used to collect fraudulent tax refunds from teachers in Connecticut school districts.

The FBI reported that in the case of Glastonbury, Minnesota, a school employee had received a request for W-2 tax information.

“I want you to compile and email W-2 copy of ‘All employees’ wage and tax statement for 2016,” read the phishing email. “Kindly prepare and attach the lists in PDF file type and email them to me for review as soon as possible.”

To appear legitimate, Ojo used the address DaltonK@Glastonburyus.org. “Kim Dalton is the executive assistant to Glastonbury’s assistant school superintendent,” reports the Hartford Courant. “The recipient replied with the tax information of about 1,600 employees.”

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the IRS deposited approximately $37,000 into various bank accounts and processed up to six of the fraudulent tax reforms.

In March 2017, Ojo sent a nearly identical phishing email to teachers at the Groton school district. The teacher who received the email replied with the information of nearly 1,300 employees. However, when the IRS received the information they alerted the FBI of the suspicious behavior.

The FBI was able to find Ojo through an examination of the email address and an SMS number. The SMS number was listed on a six-month visa application for Ojo from December 2015, which he’d obtained to visit family in New York state. Ojo had filed for immigration status earlier that year, listing his Durham address on each of the four petitions.

Ojo is now being held in Greensboro, North Carolina where he was presented in federal court. He will later be transferred for prosecution in Connecticut.

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