UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) – U.S. authorities arrested dozens of people as part of a global crackdown on email scam artists.

In a press release on Monday, June 11, the U.S. Department of Justice said 74 people were arrested in the U.S., Nigeria, Canada, Mauritius and Poland on charges of financial fraud.

The suspects allegedly sent emails that appeared to be from trusted business partners or colleagues, instructing them to wire funds to accounts controlled by criminals.

According to the bureau, the same groups also ran similar scams targeting individuals, including real estate buyers and the elderly.

As part of the operation, which started in January, authorities seized, recovered or disrupted more than $16 million in fraudulent wire transfers.

Meanwhile, according to Monday’s press release, citizens have reported losing more than $3.7 billion since the FBI started tracking email scams through its Internet Crime Complaint Center.