FBI cracks down on scammers who targeted elderly

Federal agents busted 14 people, possibly part of an international crime ring, who are accused of defrauding people out of $6 million.
2:15 | 08/23/19

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Transcript for FBI cracks down on scammers who targeted elderly
Now to that massive bust, the FBI charging 80 people with trying to scam at least $46 million out of their victims by using fake online romance schemes or hacking businesses. ABC's Clayton Sandell has more on the story. Good morning, Clayton. Reporter: Good morning to you, Amy. We have allotten those bogus emails from a certain Nigerian prince who promises to share his vast fortune as long as you give him your bank account number. Well, investigators say these schemes are now becoming more sophisticated and expensive costing victims in this case millions of dollars. This morning, 14 people accused of financial fraud are in real handcuffs busted by federal agents. This takedown in Los Angeles part of what investigators say is an international organized crime ring targeting everyday people and corporations stealing $6 million trying to get away with 40 million more. We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in U.S. History. Reporter: Here's how authorities say it worked. Investigators say the alleged conmen went online targeting the brokenhearted and elderly. One using a romance scheme to vicinity a 48-year-old Florida widow he was a military doctor stationed overseas. She wired him $87,000 telling the FBI, she considered suicide when she learned the truth. The Nigerians are famous in variations of that scam. Whether it be romance, whether it be targeting the elderly, getting them to send money, to send, you know, bank information so they can ultimately steal money from a bank account. Reporter: 32 victims in all including an 87-year-old woman suffering from dementia tricked out of more than $500,000. Other schemes stolen from dozens of businesses. The fraudster also often hack a company's email system and impersonate company personnel and direct payments to bank accounts that funnel money back to the fraudsters in Nigeria. Reporter: Officials say those 14 people arrested are just the tip of the iceberg. 80 people in all were named in the indictment but most of those are overseas in Nigeria. Half a dozen suspects, though are still on the run here in the U.S., Amy. All right, Clayton Sandell, thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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