Following the success of Operation Wire Wire and Operation reWired, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a coordinated effort to disrupt business email compromise (BEC) schemes that intercept and steal wire transfers sent by businesses and individuals.
Starting in September 2021, Operation Eagle Sweep targeted BEC scammers believed responsible for targeting over 500 U.S. victims and causing losses exceeding $51 million.
These financially devastating schemes harm victims and affect the global economy. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), victims of BEC and a similar scheme called email account compromise reported nearly $2.4 billion in losses in 2021.
The U.S. Department of Justice and international law enforcement partners carried out Operation Eagle Sweep over three months and arrested 65 suspects in the United States and overseas, including 12 in Nigeria, eight in South Africa, two in Canada, and one in Cambodia. In parallel with Operation Eagle Sweep, Australia, Japan, and Nigeria conducted local operations targeting BEC actors.
Assistant Director Bryan Vorndran of the FBI’s Cyber Division, said, “Operation Eagle Sweep’s success is directly attributed to our global reach and worldwide partnerships. Our message to criminals involved in these BEC schemes will remain clear: We will pursue you no matter where you may be located. The public we serve deserves nothing less.”
Operation Eagle Sweep serves as a model for international cooperation against specific threats that endanger the financial well-being of each member country’s residents.