The Cyber Police of Ukraine, in collaboration with law enforcement officials from Czechia, has arrested several members of a cybercriminal gang that set up phishing sites to target European users.
Two of the apprehended affiliates are believed to be organizers, with 10 others detained in other territories across the European Union.
The suspects are alleged to have created more than 100 phishing portals aimed at users in France, Spain, Poland, Czechia, Portugal, and other nations in the region.
These websites masqueraded as online portals offering heavily discounted products below market prices to lure unsuspecting users into placing fake “orders.”
In reality, the financial information entered on those websites to complete the payments were used to siphon money from the victims’ accounts.
“For the fraudulent scheme, the participants also created two call centers, in Vinnytsia and in Lviv, and involved operators in their work,” the Cyber Police said. “Their role was to convince customers to make purchases.”
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The nefarious scheme is estimated to have duped over 1,000 individuals, earning the operators approximately $4.33 million in illicit profits.
As part of the probe, law enforcement authorities carried out over 30 searches and confiscated mobile phones, SIM cards, and computer equipment used to carry out the activities.
Criminal proceedings have been initiated against the perpetrators, who may face a maximum sentence of up to 12 years in prison.