The international crime syndicate was organized around the site iSpoof.cc, which had 59,000 users in its heyday. Users paid between £150 and £5,000 a month to use the phone fraud software. Fraudsters were able to use the software to disguise their phone numbers to appear as if they were employees of banks, the tax office or other government agencies.
With the help of illegally obtained bank details, they tried to deceive their victims, who were told that suspicious movements of money had been observed in their bank accounts. After that, they were ordered to reveal their password, Scotland Yard explained. Thousands of people were deceived in this way.
In recent weeks, 120 suspects have been detained in Great Britain, including one of the alleged administrators of iSpoof, who lives in London, the police added, according to which they have rounded up the biggest criminal organization of this kind in the island country so far.
According to police data, users of the website made more than ten million fake phone calls worldwide between January and August of this year. About forty percent of these were carried out in the United States and thirty-five percent in Great Britain.
In the United Kingdom alone, they managed to swindle 48 million pounds (23 billion forints) from their victims, but the amount could be much higher, because people often do not file a report, the police revealed. Three million pounds were obtained from one victim, and the average loss of the 4,785 people who reported it was ten thousand pounds.
Created in December 2020, iSpoof has generated more than three million pounds (1.4 billion forints) in profit for its owners. Servers belonging to the website were seized in the Netherlands and Ukraine. In addition to Great Britain, suspects were also detained in the Netherlands, Australia, France and Ireland.
During the investigation, which began in June 2021, the British police cooperated with the European Union’s police cooperation organization (Europol), the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the authorities of other countries.
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