Organised crime operation used phishing and business email compromise attacks.
Police have dismantled an organised crime group linked to the Italian mafia that defrauded hundreds of victims through phishing attacks and other types of online fraud.
The joint operation was led by the Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional), with support from the Italian National Police (Polizia di Stato), Europol and Eurojust and has resulted in 106 arrests across Spain and Italy.
According to Europol, the crime operation used phishing, SIM swapping and business email compromise (BEC) attacks and it’s estimated that this led to profits of around €10 million ($11.7 million) during last year alone.
Described as “very well organised”, the group included a number of experts in computer crime tasked with creating phishing domains and carrying out cyber fraud. Other individuals involved in the criminal network included money mules and money-laundering experts, including experts in cryptocurrency.
Working out of the Canary Islands, Spain, the criminals tricked victims – mostly from Italy – into sending large sums of money to bank accounts they controlled, before laundering the proceeds through money mules and shell companies.