U.S. FBI arrests 29 Nigerians, 54 others in email fraud crackdown

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The United States (U.S.) authorities said it has arrested 74 people in a global crackdown on email fraud scams, in
which criminals have attempted to steal billions of dollars from businesses and individuals.

Of those arrested, 42 were in the U.S., 29 in Nigeria, and the others in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said.

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 FBI.