Feds arrest dozens in alleged wire transfer scam

74 Arrests in Business Email Compromise Takedown

The US Justice Department on Monday announced the arrest of 74 individuals, including 42 in the US, for their involvement in "business email compromise" (BEC) schemes created to steal money and valuable information from both businesses and individuals.

"Operation Wire Wire", a coordinated effort by Interpol, national police forces, and US agencies including the FBI, DoJ, Homeland Security, Treasury Department, Secret Service, and the Postal Inspection Service, was conducted over a six-month period.

Seventy-four people were arrested worldwide, including 42 in the United States, 29 in Nigeria, and three others in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland.

Today's statement also said that federal authorities seized almost $2.4 million and disrupted and recovered approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers.

BEC scams typically involve messages that impersonate a company official requesting the urgent payment of funds, resulting in fraudulent wire transfers or checks. Sometimes they'll ask for sensitive information such as employee tax records instead of, or in addition to, asking for money. 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.

Why Kim leaves Singapore with real achievements
China, meanwhile was effusive about the talks, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi saying the two sides were "creating a new history". So number one we save money, a lot, and number two, it really is something that I think they [North Korea] very much appreciate.

It said, "Foreign citizens perpetrate many BEC scams".

"During Operation WireWire, U.S. law enforcement agents executed more than 51 domestic actions, including search warrants, asset seizure warrants, and money mule warning letters". However, these various cyber-fraud schemes result in billions of lost dollars, and it seems unlikely that a big dent can be made in catching all the perpetrators.

It said the arrests reflect a coordinated crackdown on people who convince correspondents to wire them money for fraudulent activities.

He adds: "Of course, with all of the losses and only $2.4 million recovered, you have to believe that this group was only a small part of the problem".

"We will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners around the world to end these fraud schemes and protect the hard-earned assets of our citizens", Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

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