281 people arrested in operation targeting email scammers


Posts: 8,328   +103
Staff member
What just happened? You might think that people don’t fall for email scams anymore, but you’d be wrong. The Justice Department has announced that federal authorities have arrested 281 people in the US and overseas in relation to Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes, also known as “cyber-enabled financial fraud.”

Operation reWired, a coordinated law enforcement effort by the DoJ, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Treasury, Postal Inspection Service, and the Department of State, took place over a four-month period, leading to the arrest of 74 people in the US, 167 in Nigeria, 18 in Turkey and 15 in Ghana. Arrests were also made in France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.

BEC scams often target employees at small- to large-sized businesses with access to the companies' financial accounts, tricking them into making wire transfers. The same criminals behind these emails also went after individuals such as the elderly using romance scams, which involves making someone believe they’ve found a perfect partner and convincing them to send money.

Other scams used by the criminals include the common lottery scam, in which someone is told they’ve won a lottery they never entered but need to pay the taxes before receiving their winnings. There were also work-from-home scams that see victims send “overpayments” to fake employers’ bank accounts; vehicle sale scams where victims pay for non-existent vehicles using prepaid gift cards; and rental scams, which involves scammers agreeing to rent a property, sending a bad check in excess of the agreed-upon deposit, and requesting the overpayment be returned via wire transfer before the check bounces.

“We’re sending a clear message to the criminals who orchestrate these BEC schemes: We’ll keep coming after you, no matter where you are. And to the public, we’ll keep doing whatever we can to protect you,” said FBI Director Christopher A. Wray.

The operation has seen almost $3.7 million recovered by law enforcement agents. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, BEC and EAC (Email Account Compromise) scams accounted for over $1 billion in losses last year, almost twice as much as in 2017.

Last month, it was reported that Alaska was the state with most cybercrime victims per 10,000 residents—21.67—while South Carolina residents lost the most money, a massive $18,241.52 per person on average.

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Posts: 3,329   +2,099
That's pretty hilarious the state of Washington - home to Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing and numerous other high-tech industries - has one of the highest rates of scam victims.


Posts: 6,308   +7,248
FAKEBOOK has countless romance schemes. If these "women" (men) won't chat with you on videochat, they are liars using stolen photos to gain your attention and trust. Then they start asking for money claiming they can't use video chat if they don't get an itunes gift card to pay for it.

I have fun with them and send them pictures of an itunes card and tell them I am gonna send it but I wanna get to know them first. I ask for more pictures or video chat and then the morons send photos they stole that don't match up to the original. Jerk em around as long and possible until they get frustrated and quit.

Any one who calls me up with a lottery scheme really gets jerked around. I fooled one of these *****s into coming here to pick up the money and had them arrested.


Posts: 686   +724
I work at a University. Students are constantly giving out their user name and password because they received an email...

"We will deactivate your email account if you don't click this link and log in."

I wonder how many of them let Windows Technical Support access their computer.


Posts: 19,166   +8,315
3.7 million out of a billion is what percent...?
I think .037%. Or possibly as high as .37%. I just moved the decimal point around in my head. I didn't cheat by calling in IBM's "Watson". (Or even Window's calculator).

"The operation has seen almost $3.7 million recovered by law enforcement agents."

Where did this money go, FBI pocket..?!
You'll be asked to join a class action lawsuit, where you'll get back about a quarter. Provisionally of course, depending on how many people file claims.


Posts: 20   +7
It's great to see our government law enforcement focus more on these fraudsters. They are vile and weak people.
I just wish more tech-savvy people like you would take the time to teach these lazy criminals a lesson and do what you are doing. There are so many more smarter users out there that could literally leave these *******s without a system or a desktop to play on. Of course being caught by the law may be better, but most will exchange their worthless life or avatar for another.
If every smart user would train 5 seniors it would help. If every tech nerd would beat it into his or her own family, from 8 to 80 years old, to never give out their username/password and to use two-point security it would help. Remember, only you can prevent scammers.