Federal Bureau of Investigation announces arrest of 74 email fraudsters

Federal authorities arrest 74 people in wire transfer scam

According to the FBI, Katera Baldwin, Adedayo Ojo, Denise McAdams, Amarachukwu Onyeneke, Oghenemairo Adolor, Oluwatomiwa Odebode, Omotayo Arogundade, Monsurat Ashimi, Gbenga Fadipe, Julius Choima and Bolade Duyilemi are all suspects facing money laundering charges after allegedly taking part in a business email scam.

"BEC, also known as cyber-enabled financial fraud, is a sophisticated scam that often targets employees with access to company finances and trick them using a variety of methods like social engineering and computer intrusions into making wire transfers to bank accounts thought to belong to trusted partners but instead belong to accounts controlled by the criminals themselves".

Many of these cases involved global criminal organizations which defrauded not only small-to-large sized businesses but also individuals including real estate purchasers and the elderly.

It doesn't just happen to small businesses, though.

Domestically, the Feds said they teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Treasury and the US Postal Inspection Service in a six-month program which began in January and resulted in a fortnight of "law enforcement activity".

Operation WireWire saw the Federal Bureau of Investigation work with police in Canada, Mauritius, Indonesia, Poland and Malaysia to arrest 74 suspects, including 42 in the US.

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"The operation also resulted in the seizure of almost $2.4m, and the disruption and recovery of approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers, " a statement by the U.S. department of justice said.

The FBI said 42 suspects were nabbed in the US, 29 in Nigeria, and three others in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland.

Another three suspects in CT are charged with allegedly trying to steal $2.6 million through email scams.

"Fraudsters can rob people of their life's savings in a matter of minutes", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. "These are malicious and morally repugnant crimes".

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), these BEC schemes have resulted in losses of over $3.7 billion - and this number is only from the cases that have been reported to the IC3.

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