Police in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya have reportedly made dozens of arrests over large-scale money-transfer scams.
Suspects arrested reportedly carried out the scams by tricking victims into wiring money to bank accounts controlled by fraudsters.
More than 250 people were arrested in 10 countries, according to the FBI which added that raids in the US, UK, Turkey, France, Italy, Japan and Malaysia were also carried out.
167 of those arrested in these operations were from Nigeria.
The FBI said the various operations resulted in the “seizure of nearly $3.7 million and the disruption and recovery of approximately $118 million in fraudulent wire transfers.”
In a statement the FBI said “these sophisticated cyber-enabled scams often target employees with access to company finances and—using methods like social engineering and computer intrusions—trick them into making wire transfers to bank accounts thought to belong to trusted partners. The accounts are actually controlled by the criminals.”
It adds that “the operation follows last year’s Operation WireWire, a similar effort that led to total 74 arrests and the seizure of $2.4 million.
Thirty-nine of the FBI’s 56 field offices participated in this year’s sweep alongside state and local task force officers and partner agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.”
The FBI is now asking anyone handling money transfer requests by email to take extra time to verify the identity of the sender.