Operation reWired

The FBI and federal authorities announced that they have arrested 281 Email Scammers worldwide in a coordinated effort by law enforcement agencies. The Operation dubbed Operation reWired is a multi-agency effort to dismantle scammers around the globe.

The operation results in 281 arrests, including 167 in Nigeria, 74 in the United States, 18 in Turkey and 15 in Ghana. Authorities also arrested scammers form France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom (UK).

According to FBI, the sweep resulted in the seizure of nearly $3.7 million and the disruption and recovery of approximately $118 million in fraudulent wire transfers.

What is BEC?

BEC defined as Business Email Compromise, the scam targets both businesses and individuals who perform legitimate transfer-of-funds requests. The scam mostly targets employees associated with finance departments.

“The Department of Justice has increased efforts in taking aggressive enforcement action against fraudsters who are targeting American citizens and their businesses in business email compromise schemes and other cyber-enabled financial crimes,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.

In the last four months, authorities have arrested 74 people in the United States and 207 others have been arrested overseas for alleged financial fraud.

“The consequences of this type of fraud scheme are far-reaching, affecting not only people in the United States but also across the world,” said Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale.

It appears the attackers have stolen “more than 250,000 identities and filed more than 10,000 fraudulent tax returns, attempting to receive more than $91 million in refunds,” said Chief Don Fort of IRS Criminal Investigation.”

Types of BEC Scams

  1. Romance scams
  2. Employment opportunities scams
  3. Fraudulent online vehicle sales scams
  4. Rental scams
  5. Lottery scams

How to stay safe

  1. Have a unique Email address.
  2. Do not open any attachments without proper validation.
  3. Don’t open emails voluntary emails.
  4. Use Spam filters & Antispam gateways.
  5. Never respond to any spam emails.
  6. Use Two-factor authentication
  7. Keep all software updated.

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