Fraudsters are targeting employees at Nigerian tech companies

November 30, 2023
4 min read
cyberattack cybercriminal

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Chimgozirim and Bolu here.

We're in a good mood, and since Victoria has instructed us to treat you well, we decided to have fun while at it.

Here's the deal: We're both writing different segments of the newsletter, and we want you to guess which segments are written by whom.

Send us a reply with your answers. 

Here are the stories for today:

  • Fraudsters target tech employees in email scam
  • Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo sued for promoting Binance
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria is contemplating new regulatory frameworks

Fraudsters target tech employees in email scam

Woman Holding a Laptop with a Scam Text
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich:

Fraudsters are targeting employees and ex-employees at Nigerian tech companies, according to three confirmed incidents. 

How? Hotmail and Outlook email accounts are created using the details belonging to the CEOs of the affected companies. Emails are then sent using these accounts to request money with a promise to refund it later. 

So far, employees at Techpoint Africa, Wella Health, and Advantage Health Africa have reported receiving these emails. However, none have acceded to the requests for money. 

In an interesting turn, when one of the targeted employees requested an account to send the money to, they were given one that bore the CEO’s name. However, these accounts were linked to inactive numbers. 

The accounts provided were issued by OPay and PalmPay, two fintechs that have recently come under fire for their KYC processes. 

Zoom out: According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers are losing more money to fraudsters. Between 2021 and 2022, Americans lost $8.8 billion, a 30% increase. In Africa, individuals are losing money to cyber criminals, while financial institutions like Interswitch, Flutterwave, and Patricia have been the subject of breaches that led to the loss of funds. 

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For individuals in the workplace, business email compromise is a common tactic. However, understanding how to protect yourself and what to do after receiving these emails can save individuals and organisations from huge losses. 

Nigeria’s central bank could develop new fintech regulatory frameworks

CBN governor, Yemi Cardoso holding a mic at what appears to be an event where he's addressing people
Yemi Cardoso. Source: Leadership

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso, has hinted at plans to review the licencing framework that governs the country’s payment sector. 

Acknowledging the role that technology has played in Nigeria’s financial sector, Cardoso, who was speaking at the annual dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, revealed that recent developments in the country had warranted concern. 

Punch reports that the CBN Governor highlighted instances where payment startups offered services not covered by the licences they owned and warned that such incidents would attract sanctions. 

“Concurrently, as we conduct a comprehensive review of the licensing framework for payment services, we will engage in extensive consultations to develop a new regulatory and compliance framework that is suitable for the technology-driven payment services sector,” Cardoso said. 

Zoom out: Remittance startup, LemFi recently suspended its services in Ghana one week after the Bank of Ghana issued a circular stating it was operating without a licence. Consequently, LemFi customers will be unable to send money to bank accounts and mobile money wallets. 

Cristiano Ronaldo faces $1 billion lawsuit

Christiano Ronaldo after he scored a goal

If you are a casual follower of the crypto space, you'll remember renowned footballer Cristiano Ronaldo getting signed on to promote Binance in 2022.  

Well, Ronaldo has been slammed with a $1 billion lawsuit for promoting Binance. 

Lol was my first reaction when I saw the news but after a closer look at the lawsuit filed on November 27, 2023, I realised it was no joke, the plaintiffs might be on to something.

Plaintiffs? Yeah. The lawsuit was filed by three people — Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdaram, and Gordon Lewis — who said the promotion of Binance by CR7 (Ronaldo) caused them losses. 

That’s not all. They also said the CR7 solicited US citizens to invest in unregistered securities listed on Binance. This is true because Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ) just pleaded guilty to to violating regulatory guidelines when it comes to offering securities.

How could CR7 have known? CR7 might be good at scoring goals, but he is not a securities law expert. Unfortunately, Sizemore and his comrades don’t care. They said with all his money and level of connection, he should have known he was promoting a fraudulent company.

Even if he didn’t know, celebrities are required by law to state how much they are paid to promote crypto assets, which he didn’t do. Kim Kardashian had to pay a $1 million fine in 2022 for promoting crypto assets and not revealing how much she was paid to do it. 

What are Binance and CR7 saying? Well, they’ve not said anything, but they both announced a day after the lawsuit was filed that they are working on something together. That seems to me that they don’t care about the suit. Let’s see how it goes. 


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Have an awesome day!

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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