Nigerian Busts in 2007 for Advance Fee Fraud Scams
Two Men Arrested In Nigerian Identity Theft Scam
(CBS4) NORTH LAUDERDALE - 03/07 -The Broward Sheriff s Office arrested a man they say played a major role in a Nigerian identity theft scam responsible for stealing millions of dollars each year.
Police say 41-year old Adentuji Idowu and his associates are suspected of canvassing neighborhoods looking for vacant homes and then using the addresses from those homes to receive credit cards and other material issued in the names of identity theft victims.
Forty one-year-old Adentuji Idowu and an accomplice were arrested on March 2nd after undercover deputies patrolling the 8100 block of SW 7th Court in North Lauderdale watched as Joshua Humphrey's blue, four-door Pontiac Grand-Prix drove up to the mailbox of a vacant home.
Police say Idowu reached out from the passenger window, grabbed the mail out of the box and then drove off.
Police followed the car and made a traffic stop at the 7900 Block of Southgate Boulevard in North Lauderdale after the driver ran a stop sign.
Officers interviewed both men about their presence in the neighborhood and were given inconsistent and conflicting responses. Both men also denied living at the address where they had just picked up the mail.
After arresting both men initially for prowling and loitering, the deputies searched their car and found a credit card and other mail delivered to a person listed as living at 7th Court, along with the personal information of several other people suspected to be victims of identity theft.
Following the arrest, Police and officials from the U.S. Postal Service matched Idowu to undercover pictures taken at a second vacant North Lauderdale home where mail had been stolen, after the owner set up a secret camera to capture the mail thefts and gave them to police.
Idowu has been identified by the Secret Service as one of the major players of the Nigerian Scam in South Florida, raking in between $2-$3 million in fraud a year.
The Secret Service has been investigating Idowu since 1992, and has arrested him twice for committing identity fraud. He is currently on federal probation for fraud, and remains at the Main Jail on an immigration hold.
Idowu and Humphrey are charged with possession of someone's identification without their consent in addition to loitering and prowling. Humphrey bonded out Sunday, March 4th after posting a $1,000 bond.
Investigators believe the vacant house address may have been used for several other identity thefts.
Anyone who's been a victim of identity theft where the fraudulent material was directed to 8141 SW 7th Ct. in North Lauderdale, or anyone who lives near a vacant home and has noticed a stranger coming around to check the mail box, is asked to contact CRIMESTOPPERS AT 954-493-TIPS.