By Chris King •
Published: 12 Mar 2022 • 23:55
Seven arrested in €2 million online fraud scheme across Spain.
Photo credit: Guardia Civil
The Guardia Civil Command of La Coruña has dismantled a criminal group that was specialising in cyber fraud. Using the ‘SIM swapping’ method, this gang carried out three scams in the La Coruña municipalities of Cee, and Pontevedra, plus another in Sevilla.
They accumulated a total of €15,000 employing this online scam, and five people have been arrested as a result of the police operation.
This Benemerita operation was initiated in November 2021, after the Corcubion barracks in La Coruña received a complaint filed by one of the victims. She complained that two unauthorised transfers totalling €12,000 had been made from her bank account.
To achieve this, the ‘SIM swapping’ method was used by the gang. It consists of obtaining the access codes to the victim’s electronic banking through various techniques such as ‘phishing’, ‘malware’, or ‘pharming’.
After that, they duplicate the telephone SIM card of the injured party to receive the verification codes of the transfers to be made, thus gaining control of their bank accounts, and their telephone line.
Investigations quickly managed to identify one of the members of the group, a resident of the town of Borox in Toledo, who performed the role of money mule for the organisation.
Three other members of the aforementioned group were subsequently identified and located, residing in the towns of Fuenlabrada in Madrid, Borox in Toledo, and Canovelles in Barcelona.
These three had been using the bank details of the ‘mule’ to link them with their mobile phone devices, and then, through NFC technology, extract the money obtained at ATMs in various locations.
The fifth member of the group is a neighbour from the Toledo town of Ocaña, whose job was to recruit new ‘mules’.
Once the identities of all the alleged components of this criminal group were obtained, the Guardia Civil requested the collaboration of their colleagues from Ocaña and Illescas in their arrests.
Several of the detainees were already known to the security forces, as alleged perpetrators of the crimes of fraud, and belonging to a criminal group, as reported by diariodesevilla.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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