June 11, 2018 / 5:23 PM / 5 months ago

FBI says 74 arrested in global crackdown on email fraud

FILE PHOTO - The FBI seal and motto are seen at of the J. Edgar Hoover Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Building in Washington, U.S., February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. 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 was seized in the six-month operation dubbed “Operation Wire Wire” and about $14 million 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.

Reporting by Angela Moon in New York and Sarah N. Lynch in Washington DC, editing Jim Finkle and Rosalba O'Brien

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