Police Arrests Cybercrime Gang Operating in Europe
In a recent announcement, Europol and Italian authorities reported the arrest of eighteen members of a cybercriminal ring that operated primarily out of the Canary Islands.
The cybercrime organization is said to have links to the Italian mafia and was focusing most of its activities on sophisticated phishing and vishing scams that led to the compromise of the personal bank accounts of their victims. While phishing is a popular term, its sister term, vishing, refers to using voice calls to pull off phishing scams.
The criminal ring consisted of over a hundred members, some of them focused entirely on the digital and cybercrime side of things, while others acted almost like mafia muscle, intimidating people in real life and keeping a lid on the activities of the group.
Police reports that the gang used very modern and sophisticated phishing techniques, as well as clever social engineering tricks to lure their victims. The criminal ring broke into the bank accounts of its victims and drained considerable sums of money out of them, usually in the thousands of Euros per victim.
The gang's victims were mostly Italian citizens, but their activities also stretched to Germany, England and Spain.
Over the course of the past year, the criminal organization managed to drain a massive 10 million Euros from the bank accounts of its victims. The money was later laundered and made difficult to trace in different ways, from buying up cryptocurrency to using it to finance the gang's drug and weapon trafficking operations.
The operation was a joint effort, carried out primarily by Spanish and Italian police, with the help of an expert in forensics and a team of analysts who were deployed on location in the Canary Islands where the core team of the gang was located.