FBI says 74 arrested in global crackdown on email fraud

Photo_Web_Computer_Hack_170418

File: The router hacking operation has targeted both government and private sector groups, and the key providers of network infrastructure and internet services serving them.

File: The router hacking operation has targeted both government and private sector groups, and the key providers of network infrastructure and internet services serving them.

Photo_Web_Computer_Hack_170418

File: The router hacking operation has targeted both government and private sector groups, and the key providers of network infrastructure and internet services serving them.

File: The router hacking operation has targeted both government and private sector groups, and the key providers of network infrastructure and internet services serving them.

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK - US authorities said on Monday that 74 people had been arrested in a global crackdown on email fraud scams, in which criminals have attempted to steal billions of dollars from businesses and individuals.

The cases involve a growing type of fraud known as "business email compromise" that targets employees with access to corporate finances. The fraudsters send emails that appear to be from trusted corporate executives or vendors, which instruct targeted employees to wire funds to accounts controlled by criminals.

The same groups also ran similar scams targeting individuals, including real-estate buyers and the elderly, the bureau said.

Nearly $2.4-million (R31.58 million) was seized in the six-month operation dubbed "Operation Wire Wire" and about $14-million in fraudulent wire transfers was recovered, according to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Of those arrested, 42 were in the United States, 29 in Nigeria, and the others in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland, the FBI said.