scam Total damage worldwide exceeds 115 million euros and 142 suspects have been arrested
A computer. Drawing. — Petr Svancara/AP/SIPA
More than a hundred million euros in damage, more than 200,000 victims and more than 140 suspects arrested. It’s the result of the dismantling of a website used by scammers to extract money and access to bank accounts at; large scale, have announced Thursday Scotland Yard and Europol. The total damage worldwide exceeds £100 million (€115 million) and 142 suspects have been arrested. arrested, specified Europol, the European Union (EU) agency for police cooperation. This international operation led by the United Kingdom involved police services in several EU countries, but also in Australia, the United States, Canada and Ukraine.
It is the biggest ever law enforcement operation by British police, according to Scotland Yard. More than 100 people have been arrested in the UK alone, mostly for fraud. Among them, the presumed organizer from the iSpoof site, Teejai Fletcher, 34, who was charged and placed in pre-trial detention. Other suspects identified in the country have been reported to investigation services in the Netherlands, Australia, France and Ireland.
The number of potential targeted victims is high at more than 200,000, for a damage which is counted in tens of millions of pounds sterling in the United Kingdom alone, according to the police in London. The average reported damage is estimated to 10,000 pounds sterling (11,600 euros), for a total declared of 48 million pounds (55 million euros) in the United Kingdom. This vast operation was conducted in coordination with Europol, the European judicial agency Eurojust and the FBI. Computer servers have been closed in the Netherlands and Ukraine.
The iSpoof site allowed criminals to pass themselves off as representatives of large banks by displaying trustworthy telephone numbers (banking establishments, tax offices or official bodies) phone or SMS money or access codes to; accounts. The scammers who used the site paid it in Bitcoin, between 150 and 5,000 pounds sterling depending on the service. In one year, until’` Last August, 10 million calls were received. made worldwide, about 40% to the United States, one third to the United Kingdom.
Helen Rance, head of the fight against cybercrime; of the London police, pointed out that by “dismantling iSpoof, we have prevented new offenses and prevented; fraudsters from targeting future victims. “We have your contact details and are working hard to locate you, where you are. whatever you are,” to the address of the users of the site. These arrests “send the message to cybercriminals that they can no longer hide behind the international anonymity they perceive,” declared Catherine de Bolle, Director General of Europol.