London. Scotland Yard and Europol have announced that a criminal network that defrauded hundreds of thousands of victims on several continents out of millions of dollars through fraudulent phone calls has been dismantled in an international police operation.
The European Union’s Police Cooperation Agency reported that total losses worldwide exceeded $119 million and 142 suspects were arrested.
Under the direction of UK authorities, the international operation had cooperated with the FBI and police in several EU countries, Australia, Canada and Ukraine, Europol reports.
Scotland Yard said this was the largest anti-fraud operation ever undertaken by the British police.
In the UK alone, more than 100 people have been arrested, mainly for fraud. Among them is Tejay Fletcher, 34, an alleged organizer of the iSpoof platform, which has facilitated large-scale scams.
the number of potential victims rises to more than 200,000; The average amount of cheating per person is 10,000 pounds.
iSpoof sold computer tools to criminals allowing them to pose as representatives of banks or institutions, by displaying phone numbers of banks, tax offices, or government agencies to obtain funds or access codes to bank accounts via phone or SMS.
Using the platform in bitcoins, the scammers paid between £150 and £5,000 depending on the service purchased.
As of August this year, 10 million calls have been made worldwide, 40 percent of them to the US and more than 30 percent to the UK.
“The use of technology by organized criminals is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century,” said London Chief Constable Mark Rowley.
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