POLICIA Nacional have dismantled a criminal gang dedicated to defrauding companies out of over €2.4 million across the globe via the internet.
The two year investigation was brought to a head over the weekend when 11 people were arrested in Valencia, Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca for their alleged participation in the scam.
Investigators claim these individuals took part in a ‘CEO sting’ which would deceive high ranking employees from a business.
The cybercriminals would send employees an email pretending to be their boss which asked them to transfer significant amounts of money for a financial operation that was to be kept strictly confidential.
The targeted employees would either reveal sensitive data or directly transfer funds to the specified account.
An investigation into the scam was launched in 2018 after the Policia Nacional received multiple complaints against a group of cybercriminals who allegedly carried out phishing attacks – an attempt to obtain sensitive information such as credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy source.
Further analysis revealed that the group had set up more than 150 bank accounts involving intermediaries and mules in order to conceal the origin of the money and identification of the final recipients.
Officers verified that their victims spanned across the world with businesses in Italy, the Czech Republic, the US, Lebanon, China, Kazakhstan and the Netherlands being scammed out of over €2.4 million.
Investigators identified a total of 16 people located in Palma de Mallorca (1), Maspalomas (1), Ibiza (2) and Valencia (12), with 11 being arrested and charged with fraud, money laundering and membership to a criminal organisation.