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So, what the criminals try to do instead of hook you with that relative that needs help or that Nigerian prince, what they're now doing is trying to spoof the CEO to the CFO," Nunnikhoven said."We're seeing far more manufacturers be targeted, simply because they do business with a lot of small companies.They are far from the only company to get scammed by West African nationals."With big businesses we see the same type of scam, but perpetrated on a much larger scale."What these are, are really finely tuned, sophisticated schemes that are targeted to separate you from your money," said Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of cloud research at cybersecurity company Trend Micro.They recently released a report on West African cybercrime, which includes Nigeria."The same language was used with one person after another …it didn't matter if it was male or female," said Annette Williams, an assistant U. attorney with the Southern District of Mississippi, who prosecuted the case. "These type of transnational criminal organizations solicit their victims between the ages of 45- 75, widowed men and women.
"It would all start where they would purchase compromised credit card data. They would create thousands of American Express Serve prepaid accounts."We were able to identify that they would not be able to stay open for more than just a few months before they'd have to shut down their business," the agent said.The scheme shocked prosecutors, with Annette Williams calling it the most brazen.Prosecutors in Gulfport, Mississippi, recently took down one Nigerian crime ring that brought in million. I got a call from my wife that someone had come onto our property looking for me," said the agent, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity.For one former government agent, that scam began with a woman showing up at his door. "The person told my wife that she had met me with my name" on a dating website.