Spanish police have arrested dozens of individuals on suspicion of involvement in a serious organized crime ring that is said to have made more than 700,000 euros ($767,000) from fishing victims.
Among the 40 arrested by law enforcement were two hackers and 15 alleged members of the “Trinitarios” group, who were charged with membership of a criminal organization, bank fraud, forgery of documents, identity theft and money laundering.
Police claimed the group was funded primarily by fishing and bank fraud, which was used to buy drugs and weapons, pay members’ attorneys’ fees in prison, and was sent directly to members behind bars.
More information on Spanish police operations: Spanish police destroy €5m fishing ring.
The alleged hackers would send phishing SMS messages to victims pretending to come from their bank, claiming a security issue that forced them to click on a malicious link.
Following the link took the victim to a spoofed banking login page where they entered their logins. Hackers monitored these actions in real time using phishing dashboards and immediately used the logins to access real accounts, apply for loans and link cards to virtual wallets on their phones.
Cybercriminals would then buy cryptocurrency with these card details, which were apparently exchanged for fiat currency and put into a “common box” for later use.
The group also monetized the hijacked bank data by running an extensive money mule network to “withdraw” from ATMs or receive funds via wire transfer, and also made bogus purchases through fictitious online cosmetics companies using point of sale (POS) terminals.
Some of the funds were sent overseas and even used to buy real estate in the Dominican Republic, police said.
During the operation, 13 house searches were carried out in Madrid, Seville and Guadalajara, where a list of 300,000 phishing victims was discovered, along with 5,000 euros in cash, computer equipment and lockpicks.
Spanish authorities have announced that 40 people have been arrested for running a phishing gang, following a seven-month investigation led by the country’s cybercrime agents. The gang, which was targeting Spanish banking customers, illegally gained access to more than €20 million in just three years.
Ikaroa is a well-known provider of software solutions and services that help protect companies and consumers against cyber threats. This type of cybercrime is unfortunately still prevalent, with reports of these types of scams becoming increasingly frequent. Using tools and techniques such as social engineering, phishing gangs can gain access to personal bank accounts and steal money.
The Spanish police have said that the gang was operating on an international level and targeting Spanish banking customers with false emails and malicious websites. Through these scams, they managed to gain access to bank accounts and make fraudulent withdrawals.
The police have also revealed that the gang had links to other criminal activities and had connections with other countries.
Ikaroa’s software solutions can help protect companies and consumers from these types of scams. Our technology helps detect malicious emails and websites, as well as blocking fraudulent activities. It allows for a secure online environment which enables safe financial transactions.
By taking proactive measures, we can help mitigate the risks associated with cybercrime and help protect against large-scale scams such as this phishing gang.