4 Apr, 2024 @ 11:15
1 min read

Hackers who made €3million by cloning SIM cards across Spain are arrested

A MALAGA-LED cyberhacking gang swindled over €3.3 million out of victims across Spain through a phone SIM card con.

Seven people have been arrested by the Guardia Civil in Malaga, Barcelona, Valencia and Zamora.

The gang was led by two Venezuelan nationals living in Malaga who had a big operational base in their home country, with up to 74 members who have been identified by investigators.

A search of their two homes resulted in seizures of two laptops, six mobile phones, two bank cards, two cryptocurrency cards, documents and a cryptocurrency wallet.

The cybercriminals manage to fraudulently get copies of phone SIM cards through using personal information of their victims.

Once somebody lost their phone service, they accessed their details, took control of the phone’s apps to impersonate them on social networks, email accounts and, above all, digital banking through the verification text that is sent to the phone number.

They then cleared out victims’ accounts, took out loans, ordered new phone numbers or made expensive purchases on international online sales platforms.

To launder the swindled money, the gang recruited ‘mules’ through social networks.

In exchange for money, they transferred the sums obtained by the fraudsters to an account that the organisation had in a Miami bank in the United States.

The operation to bring down the gang was led by the Guardia Civil in Granada after a La Zubia resident reported that he had been defrauded of more than €25,000 via four fraudulent transfers from his bank accounts.

The victim got an email telling him that he needed to change his password to access emails and that to reset, he should click on a link.

After doing so, five minutes later his mobile network supplier no longer worked on his phone.

Fearing the worst, he logged onto his online banking and discovered that €25,000 had been taken out.


Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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