The group used phishing, BEC and different varieties of assaults to swindle victims out of hundreds of thousands
Legislation enforcement companies from Europe have cracked down on an organized group that’s related to the Italian Mob and has been concerned in all method of cybercrime, together with phishing campaigns, SIM swapping and Enterprise Electronic mail Compromise (BEC). The prison community was additionally concerned in identification theft, cash laundering, drug trafficking, property crime, arms dealing and different exceedingly violent crimes.
“The suspects defrauded tons of of victims via phishing assaults and different varieties of on-line fraud equivalent to SIM swapping and enterprise e mail compromise earlier than laundering the cash via a large community of cash mules and shell corporations. Final yr alone, the unlawful revenue is estimated at about € 10 million,” reads Europol’s press launch.
106 arrested in an operation towards on-line fraud. #Europol supported @policia and @poliziadistato to dismantle this prison group linked to the Italian mafia.
🏦 118 financial institution accounts frozen
💳 224 bank cards and point-of-sale terminals seized
Extra👉 https://t.co/yoiVWkCpAX pic.twitter.com/CzOMJ2n6s6
— Europol (@Europol) September 20, 2021
The operation was spearheaded by the Spanish Nationwide Police and backed by the Italian Nationwide Police, in addition to Europol and Eurojust, the European Union’s legislation enforcement and judicial companies, respectively. The operation led to 106 arrests, 16 home searches, 118 financial institution accounts being frozen, and the seizure of a wide range of digital gadgets, 224 bank cards, SIM playing cards, and point-of-sale terminals.
Europol described the group as well-organized, with the community comprised of members with numerous specializations. “Among the many members of the prison group have been laptop specialists, who created the phishing domains and carried out the cyber fraud; recruiters and organisers of the cash muling; and cash laundering specialists, together with specialists in cryptocurrencies,” stated the European legislation enforcement company.
The group operated out of Tenerife within the Canary Islands and used numerous ways to dupe unsuspecting victims, often Italian nationals, out of huge quantities of cash, which they might ship to financial institution accounts managed by the prison group. As soon as the cash was wired to their accounts, they proceeded to launder it both via a big community of shell corporations and cash mules.
It’s no surprise that organized crime has taken an rising curiosity in cybercrime and particularly BEC scams. In accordance with the FBI’s 2020 Web Crime Report, BEC scams stay top-dog, with losses emanating from them reaching a complete of virtually US$2 billion final yr. And if the FBI’s annual report is any indication the losses from BEC scams can solely be anticipated to develop additional sooner or later.