By Sierra Hudson Stone, Marketing —
Recently, four Nigerian men living in the United States admitted to taking part of a large-scale passport and bank scheme in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. So how on earth did they intend to con over $1.2 million dollars?
The men admitted participation to defraud various banking institutions in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island by acquiring and altering passed checks between commercial entities.
The altered checks were deposited into fraudulent bank accounts the men has opened using counterfeit passports from South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana. Once the funds from the checks cleared, the money was quickly withdrawn from the fake accounts to avoid detection and fraud schemes.
Approximately $1,267,000 fraudlent wire transfers and checks were successfully stolen through ATM withdrawls as well as purchases. That is a whole lotta cash! These men have all plead guilty to committing the fraud scheme as well as using fake passports and forms of ID. 2 of these Nigerian nationals have already been deported, but the other 2 were ordered to pay restitution to the institutions they defrauded.
If the government were to screen potential immigrants about their intentions for staying in the US, perhaps this would help drive down crime. I’d recommend that the immigration and border patrols administer lie detection tests on those they find suspicious, based on their job training.
Identification may be forged and documents can be stolen. But a person’s true identity does not change. Simple as that. In under 5 minutes, IdentityDetect can spot a liar. “[IdentityDetect is] a novel technique for detecting faked identities based on the use of unexpected questions that may be used to check the respondent identity without any prior auto-biographical information,” Published research paper in PLOS ONE, May 18, 2017. This technology is invaluable in reducing the risk of fraud schemes. Learn more about IdentityDetect here.