Law enforcement agencies from ten countries have arrested 281 suspects over the last four months as part of a massive crackdown on BEC (business email compromise) scammers. See also 10 dangerous app vulnerabilities to watch out for (free PDF) The operation, tracked internally as Operation reWired, resulted in the seizure of nearly $3.7 million from the 281 suspects, and the recovery of approximately $118 million in fraudulent wire transfers. The vast majority of the arrests took place in Nigeria, where the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) made 167 arrests. 105 of the 167 arrests took place in the Port Harcourt region, in southern Nigeria, ZDNet has learned. But, while Nigeria has been known for harboring a large portion of the world’s online scammers, arrests have also taken place in nine other countries. The Department of Justice reported today 74 arrests in the US, while 18 other suspects were apprehended in Turkey, and 15 other in Ghana. Other arrests also took place in France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, and the UK, the FBI reported. BEC crackdown According to US authorities, all the suspects engaged in BEC (business email compromise), also referred to as EAC (email account compromise). This is a type of online scam where attackers compromise a company employee’s account and use access to this account to send emails to fellow employees or business partners, requesting payments or redirecting money transfers to their own accounts. Although a different scam, authorities also use the BEC term to describe situations when… [Read full story]
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