The United States 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, according to Reuters. 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 $2.4m was seized in the six-month operation dubbed “Operation Wire Wire” and about $14m in fraudulent wire transfers was recovered, according to the U.S. 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.