By Linda Hall •
Updated: 30 Jul 2022 • 16:10
SMISHING SCAM: Almeria operation by Guardia Civil dismantled international gang
Photo credit: Guardia Civil
Snared by a system that combined a SMS message and phishing – hence the term smishing – victims were fooled into believing that they had received a genuine message from their bank, warning that accounts were either blocked or otherwise compromised.
They were then duped into revealing their bank details and passwords, enabling the scammers to access their accounts and transfer the proceeds to Eastern Europe. Here the stolen cash was invested in hard-to-trace cryptocurrency.
The Revomarca operation was launched in October 2021, following several formal complaints from Almeria province residents whose bank accounts had been ransacked via smishing.
Guardia Civil investigators have traced 16 people who were operating inside Spain as well as elsewhere in the EU. Of these, four were arrested in Madrid while the person believed to be the brains behind the scheme has been detained in Barcelona. A sixth person is under investigation in Burgos (Castilla y Leon).
Meanwhile, the Almeria investigators have taken legal steps to ask the authorities in Hungary, Greece, Italy, France, Germany and the Czech Republic to locate and detain further suspects.
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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