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FBI arrests 74 email scammers in worldwide operation

By midian182 · 40 replies
Jun 12, 2018
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  1. “Operation Wire Wire,” a coordinated effort by Interpol, national police forces, and US agencies including the FBI, DoJ, Homeland Security, Treasury Department, Secret Service, and the Postal Inspection Service, was conducted over a six-month period. In addition to the arrests, it resulted in the seizure of nearly $2.4 million, and the recovery of approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers.

    BEC schemes usually involve scammers targeting victims who have access to their employers' accounts, or businesses that perform regular wire transfers. The criminals will trick people into transferring money, typically by impersonating a colleague or business partner after obtaining access to that person’s email account.

    Other individuals fell victim to classic romance and lottery scams, and on some occasions, the perpetrators asked for sensitive information, such as tax records, instead of cash. One case saw two Nigerians living in Dallas posing as a property seller and requesting a $246,000 wire transfer from a real estate attorney.

    The arrests took place in the US, Nigeria, Canada, Mauritius, and Poland. Some of those arrested were working as part of larger criminal organizations, while others acted alone.

    "This operation demonstrates the FBI's commitment to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises that target American citizens and their businesses," said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

    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.

    “Fraudsters can rob people of their life's savings in a matter of minutes,” said Attorney General Sessions. “These are malicious and morally repugnant crimes. The Department of Justice has taken aggressive action against fraudsters in recent months, conducting the largest sweep of fraud against American seniors in history back in February.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. Surprised they only nabbed 74. Glad to hear it though.
    senketsu likes this.
  3. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Maniac Posts: 281   +169

    Great! now they need to go after the scammers calling me saying "hello this is your windows technical support...we are seeing errors coming from your computer...."
    learninmypc and mark kram like this.
  4. Are you running Windows 10? If so, that's not a scam. That's just someone letting you know what's actually happening in the background.
    ShagnWagn likes this.
  5. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,095   +580

    The Nigerian Royal family must be in turmoil to have that many princes arrested for fraud.
    ShagnWagn and ManicWeasel like this.
  6. Manuel Diego

    Manuel Diego TS Booster Posts: 53   +64

    It's good news, definitely, though it feels like a drop in the ocean. Now there's only 999.926 more out there...
    seeprime likes this.
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,839   +193

    About time!
  8. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,245   +1,256

    That's NOT fraud! I got an email from one of them and they promised to send me hundreds of millions of dollars!! All I have to do is give them my banking credentials!
  9. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 537   +367

    Honest criminals? "I see your private information and telemetry is being uploaded to the cloud. I can fix that for $149.99!!"
    mark kram and davislane1 like this.
  10. antiproduct

    antiproduct TS Booster Posts: 83   +58

    Now if only they could arrest all the scammers that keep calling my cell phone...
  11. lensman888

    lensman888 TS Rookie

    You are kidding, right? Because there is no freaking way that Microsoft gets an actual employee to call someone to tell them they are "detecting errors". And you are helping to enable the scammers by having someone read this comment and think that it must be okay, then. This scam has been going since 2010 at the very least. I can only hope that you were trying to come off as sarcastic and it didn't work.
    TheBigT42 likes this.
  12. lensman888

    lensman888 TS Rookie

    Ah, but they were "illegal" arrests and now the lawyers for these princes are going to email people to inform them of this grave injustice and explain that for a small fee they will be entitled to a percentage of the prince's fortune that had to be quickly deposited into a foreign bank and now has to be transferred to YOUR bank account in order for them to access the funds….
  13. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,245   +1,256

    The sarcasm DID work.... everyone else realized it for what it was and we get the added benefit of making fun of the one person who didn’t :)
  14. lensman888

    lensman888 TS Rookie

    If you say so.
  15. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,296   +375

    Take all the money spent on harassing weed users and focus it on something like this.... Or maybe solving murders?
    learninmypc likes this.
  16. m3tavision

    m3tavision TS Booster Posts: 142   +85

    Either you are trolling, or you don't now wtf you are talking about.

    Microsoft is never going to call your house and tell you that the performance on your WIndows10 is poor, and they need remote access to fix it. It is never gong to ever happen... specially when it takes you an hour for technical assistance & paid business services (customer support).

    As such, most the people who do fall for this SCAM, are the elderly now (who grew up Personal Computers & Windows 98), etc.. before they retired and are still use to having a PC's still in their home. And finding Windows10 automation intimidating. Think of elderly church ladies or People in the late 60s & 70s....
    wiyosaya likes this.
  17. lensman888

    lensman888 TS Rookie

    I get where you're coming from, but fraud is a huge, huge problem with hundreds of millions lost each year in N.America alone. Depending on how old you are I can guarantee there are people in your parent's or grandparents circle of friends who have been duped. It is looked upon as a crime perpetrated against stupid people, and while that may be true in SOME cases, it is most certainly not in all. I have seen people made destitute to fraud or, even worse, have committed suicide having lost all their worldly assets, and feeling shame and guilt saw no other way out.
  18. lensman888

    lensman888 TS Rookie

    Yeah, apparently he was trolling. Now you, along with me, are the second person to have not been able to see the "sarcasm" in his comment.
    Lionvibez and wiyosaya like this.
  19. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,245   +1,256

    Guess there's now 2 people to make fun of...
    I guess you're more fun to make fun of as you clearly didn't read the posts afterwards....
  20. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,304   +577

    Squid, let's not make fun of anybody. Okay?
  21. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,289   +1,720

    If you are in the US, register with the do not call registry, then report them. If you are already on the do not cal registry, report them. Despite sarcasm otherwise, it is the only way to fight this. I assume, of course, that you have caller ID.

    I had one of those calls the other day. It was plainly a robo call, and then at the end, it said, "If this call was a mistake, please ignore it." Obviously a scam call hoping the ignorant will just ignore it. The number the call to me came from was 972-441-0548 and was the number given in the robo message to call.
  22. lensman888

    lensman888 TS Rookie

    Unfortunately the Do Not Call Registry is only effective against legitimate businesses (and perhaps not even then), and fraudsters could care less about what list you are on. In addition to which, numbers displayed on your phone may not be their real number (I.e. Phone Spoofing) so reporting them does no good either. Real numbers that are used are usually obtained with fraud credit card info. Even toll-free numbers are obtained this way through third party number resellers who themselves get defrauded once the credit card payment gets charged back to them. The Internet really is designed to aid fraudsters in every way possible.
    TheBigT42 likes this.
  23. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,289   +1,720

    Right. We understand that Davis was making america great again being a clown.

    Some people come to this site for help. They may be new to using computers. Remember the day when you were new to computers? Though I would venture that most are, not everyone here is a seasoned veteran.

    Call me an old fart, but I still have plenty of stink left in me, and sh!t calls like that should be reported.
    Right, another expert heard from and that is why you did not read what I said in my post.

    And if you realize it or not, the FTC runs the do not call list and they will refer fraudulent calls to the proper authorities. Just how do you think scum like robo callers and other fraudsters get caught? Hopes and prayers?
    m3tavision likes this.
  24. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Guru Posts: 940   +168

    I have a feeling this won't be the end of it anytime soon.
    I hope the FBI goes the whole 9 yards to put a legitimate choke hold on scammers.
  25. Knot Schure

    Knot Schure TS Booster Posts: 133   +46

    Go FBI!

    Hand out some of them weighty USA-style sentences.
    wiyosaya and senketsu like this.

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