Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests 29 Nigerians for alleged internet fraud

13 June, 2018, 12:58 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Federal authorities arrest 74 people in wire transfer scam

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.

They arrested 74 people nationwide, including 42 from the United States that were involved in an organization called BEC, Business Email Compromise.

"In addition to the arrests, it resulted in the seizure of almost $2.4 million, and the recovery of approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers", the bureau said.

According to the Justice Deparment, BEC schemes often target employees with access to company finances, as well as businesses that regularly make wire transfer payments. The scammers may also target personally identifiable information or employee tax records in addition to money.

A number of the cases that resulted in arrests involved worldwide criminal organizations that defrauded small to large-sized businesses, while others involved individual victims who transferred large amounts of money or sensitive records in the course of business, according to the Justice Department. "The defendant sent the emails with the intent of having the recipients send or wire money to bank accounts used, accessed, or controlled by others in furtherance of the conspiracy".

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"These same criminal organizations that perpetrate BEC schemes also exploit individual victim", the Federal Bureau of Investigation statement reads.

Starting in January, the coordinated enforcement action targeted hundreds of BEC scammers, officials say.

The Department of Justice did not immediately provide a full list of those arrested, or the criminal complaints, but it said that, "since the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) began formally keeping track of BEC and its variant, email account compromise (EAC), there has been a loss of over $3.7 billion reported to the IC3".

It said the arrests reflect a coordinated crackdown on people who convince correspondents to wire them money for fraudulent activities. "When this amount of money can be stolen with little risk of getting caught, there will always be people willing to commit fraud".

The schemes were created to intercept wire transfers from businesses and individuals, including many senior citizens.

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