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techkenyot.com July 19, 2018


Omaha FBI operations nets indictments of 8 in email schemes

13 June 2018, 01:01 | Glen Norman

EnlargeXaume Olleros Bloomberg via Getty Images

EnlargeXaume Olleros  Bloomberg via Getty Images

Law enforcement officials arrested 74 people for allegedly carrying out business email compromise (BEC) schemes, or "cyber-enabled financial fraud" as part of Operation Wire Wire, according to a DOJ press release.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said that "Operation WireWire" involved a six-month sweep and multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Treasury and the US Postal Inspection Service.

Seventy-four people were arrested worldwide, including 42 in the United States, 29 in Nigeria, and three others in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland. The FBI added that $2.4 million dollars was seized, while $14 million in "fraudulent wire transfers" was recovered.

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In its statement, the Justice Department notes that these sophisticated scam often target employees "with access to company finances and businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments".

Many of these cases involved worldwide criminal organizations which defrauded not only small-to-large sized businesses but also individuals including real estate purchasers and the elderly. Sometimes they'll ask for sensitive information such as employee tax records instead of, or in addition to, asking for money.

The US said such scams are "prevalent" and pledged to pursue perpetrators "regardless of where they are located".

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The Justice Department said BEC schemes and similar email scams have cost victims $3.7 billion since the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) began tracking the incidents. "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". The elderly are particularly targeted in BEC schemes.

It culminated in more than two weeks of intensified law enforcement activity resulting in 73 arrests in the USA and overseas, primarily in Nigeria, and the recovery or seizure of about $6 million.

"Many people are greedy, and so there will be others ready to quickly step in to take up the task of committing these frauds".

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The FBI said the suspects aimed at intercepting and hijacking cash transfers from businesses and individuals, including many senior citizens.



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