The arrests were as a result of a coordinated effort to disrupt business email compromise schemes that are created to intercept and hijack wire transfers from businesses and individuals, including many senior citizens, according to a statement on its website dated June 11, 2018.
Named Operation WireWire, several federal authorities were involved to disrupt global BEC schemes, including the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Treasury, and the US Postal Inspection Service.
Of those arrested, 42 were in the United States, 29 in Nigeria, and the others in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.
The operation also led to the seizure of almost $2.4m and the "disruption and recovery" of around $14m in fraudulent wire transfers.More news: Unlike Singapore, South Korean F&B firms careful about Trump-Kim marketing
Federal authorities allege the individuals impersonated employees or business executives after gaining access to their email accounts, better known as a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scheme.
They largely targeted elderly victims, businesses, employees and real estate purchases, authorities said.
The US said such scams are "prevalent" and pledged to pursue perpetrators "regardless of where they are located".
A number of the cases that resulted in arrests involved worldwide criminal organizations that defrauded small to large-sized businesses, while others involved individual victims who transferred large amounts of money or sensitive records in the course of business, according to the Justice Department.More news: Greece and Macedonia confirm 'historic' name deal
Separate research by Proofpoint released in February claimed that by the end of 2017, almost 89% of all organizations studied were targeted by at least one BEC attack - a large jump from the 75% targeted in Q4 2016.
"During Operation WireWire, U.S. law enforcement agents executed more than 51 domestic actions, including search warrants, asset seizure warrants, and money mule warning letters".
It said the arrests reflect a coordinated crackdown on people who convince correspondents to wire them money for fraudulent activities.
"Many people are greedy, and so there will be others ready to quickly step in to take up the task of committing these frauds".More news: Brexit: MPs says PM must honour 'assurances' over Parliament's role
"This operation demonstrates the FBI's commitment to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises that target American citizens and their businesses", FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.