A person arrested in Toronto is among 19 people charged in a U.S. investigation into an alleged Internet fraud scheme.

The U.S. Department of Justice says the alleged scheme involved a West African organized crime group that used fraudulent mass-marketing tactics such as romance, re-shipping and fraudulent cheque scams to obtain victims' financial information.

It says that since the investigation was launched in 2011, officers have identified millions of dollars lost by hundreds of
alleged victims in the United States.

They say the probe began when a woman was targeted in a so-called "sweetheart scam" where she re-mailed merchandise bought using a stolen identity and credit card number.

No further information was released about Wednesday's arrest in Toronto but authorities say 10 of the accused were arrested in South Africa and the remaining eight were picked up in the United States.

The accused are to be deported to the United States and the case is being handled by federal prosecutors in Mississippi, South Carolina and Georgia.