Man in the Middle Fraud
Man in the middle fraud is a cybercrime type that based on email password capture and imitating correspondence. This computer and internet crime is predominantly committed by people of Nigerian origin. For this reason, this crime is also called as “Nigerian scam” or “Nigerian fraud” in Turkey. In this type of crime, the act of fraud begins with the capture of the email password of one of the two companies or persons doing a large commercial business. E-mail hacking is a cyber crime that based on the capture of an e-mail account by hacking or resetting the password. This type of email hacking constitutes the first stage of the man in the middle crimes. E-mail passwords can be cracked by “brute-force” attack which means attempting username and password combinations rapidly by hacking software. In addition, a password can be captured by malware software (trojan horse, key logger, etc.) that installed on a computer.
Man in the middle fraud is also a sort of email fraud crime. Before going into the details of email fraud crimes, it would be appropriate to answer the question of what is email hacking. Email hacking constitutes a crime of entering the information system regulated in article 243 of the Turkish Criminal Code. Reading e-mails after an email account has been compromised will constitute a crime of violating the confidentiality of the communication. If the perpetrator deleted some e-mails after logging into the account or sent e-mails through the account he obtained, then crimes against the data in the information system will come to the fore. If the password of the account is changed and the account holder is prevented from accessing the account, there will also be the crime of blocking or breaking the information system. The seizure of an e-mail address seen by hacking can constitute several different types of crime.
Man in the Middle Scams
In this type of crime, perpetrators start to capture e-mail accounts of targeted companies and monitor the correspondence. After reading emails and commercial correspondence, they check whether there is a possible high-cost purchase or significant money transfer. In this sense, they open an e-mail account that will imitate an e-mail address of one of their parties with a single character difference in an e-mail correspondence where they detect a large money transfer. Subsequently, they get involved in the correspondence by creating tan impression that they are sending an e-mail as the person whose email they are imitating. At the last stage, they provide their bank account information instead of a correspondence’s bank account. In this type of fraud, sometimes real email addresses can be imitated with some special software instead of imitating the email address. Meanwhile, sometimes this crime is perpetrated in cryptocurrency transfers as Bitcoin scams.
Financial losses are extremely high in this type of fraud crimes. Financial damages incurred in these types of email fraud crimes can usually reach up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore, it would be appropriate for those who are victims of the crime of intervening or man in the middle fraud to work with an experienced cyber crime lawyer in this field.