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    Global crackdown on email scams leads to 281 arrests, including in M'sia

    (Updated )

    Some 281 people were arrested following a global crackdown against email fraud syndicates through a method known as Business Email Compromise (BEC).

    The United States Department of Justice said of the 281 arrests, 167 were in Nigeria, 74 in the US, 18 in Turkey and 15 in Ghana.

    It said arrests were also made in Malaysia, France, Italy, Japan, Kenya and the United Kingdom.

    "The coordinated efforts with our domestic and international law enforcement partners around the world have made these most recent actions more successful," US Deputy Attorney-General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement today.

    "I want to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than two dozen US Attorney’s Offices, US Secret Service, US Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Inland Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, our partners in Nigeria, Ghana, Turkey, France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia and the UK, and our state and local law enforcement partners for all of their hard work to combat these fraud schemes and protect the hard-earned assets of our citizens.

    "Anyone who engages in deceptive practices like this should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable." 

    In BEC, cybercriminals target individuals with access to company finances by impersonating the email address of important connections – such as bosses or clients – to dupe them into sending payments to the criminal's account.

    The four-month global operation, which saw nearly US$3.7 million (RM15.46 million) being seized, was announced by the DOJ today.

    According to Digital News Asia, Malaysia is ranked second in Southeast Asia for experiencing the most BEC attacks last year, behind Singapore.

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