FBI Arrests 74 in Global 'Operation WireWire' Hacking Scandal
The FBI said Monday that it arrested more than 74 hackers in countries around the world who were involved in email scams in attempts to compromise businesses.
The arrests in "Operation WireWire" include 29 Nigerians and at least 40 Americans.
According to Reuters, the scammers involved "send emails that appear to be from trusted corporate executives or vendors, which instruct targeted employees to wire funds to accounts controlled by criminals."
The FBI also confirmed that web-based email scams developed in Nigeria in the 90s are currently on the rise.
It said that $275 million in losses were reported in 2015, $675 million in 2017 and that $685 million were reported in the first quarter of this year.
The FBI estimates that American businesses have lost $3.7 billion as a result of cyber scammers.
The FBI said in a statement regarding the crimes Monday:
"Operation WireWire, which also included the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service resulted in the seizure of nearly $2.4 million and the disruption and recovery of approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers."
Fox News' Gillian Turner said on "The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino" that the scammers often spend months studying businesses and their employees.
She said they target those who tend to transfer large amounts of money, transfer money frequently and transfer sensitive business or personal records.