Fraud Management & Cybercrime
Police Arrested 34 Alleged Members of the Group That Defrauded 3 Million Euros
Spanish authorities arrested more than two dozen members of a cybercrime group that used phishing and other tactics to extort millions from victims.
Group that operated out of various locations in Spain used phishing, smishing and vishing to conduct financial fraud worth 3 million euros, police said. On Saturday, the authorities arrested 34 group members, including the ring’s leader, following a yearlong investigation launched by the Spanish cybercrime unit.
As part of the operation, the police confiscated 80,000 euros in cash and a database containing sensitive information.
Authorities said more the 4 million people may have been affected by the group’s activities, which predominantly targeted banking customers. The investigation began after police had detected criminal actors illegally accessing financial databases, depositing money and then contacting account holders to demand the money.
It used spoofing websites of various financial institutions as well as utility companies and engaged in “child in trouble” scams to defraud its victims, the police said – sending text chats claiming to be a message from an offspring in urgent need of money who had contacted parents from a temporary telephone number.
The group also sold custom phishing pages to other criminals on underground forums, laundering their earnings through investments in crypto assets.
“The main leaders of the network have been placed in provisional prison, and more than 1,000 complaints have been clarified,” the police said.