Ukrainian and Czech police bust $9 million bank fraud gang

Jason Macuray
Ukrainian and Czech police have taken down a criminal gang that made millions of dollars through fraudulent phone calls.

Ukrainian and Czech police have taken down a criminal gang that made millions of dollars through fraudulent phone calls.

The members of the group worked from call centers in Ukraine and primarily targeted victims in Czechia, officials said Thursday. The сriminals used a technique called “vishing” (a combination of “voice” and “phishing”) to call their targets and trick them into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card numbers or personal details.

The scammers pretended to be bank security officers, telling victims that their accounts had been hacked, police said. To supposedly safeguard their funds, victims were instructed to temporarily transfer the money to another “secure” account provided by the criminals, according to the police.

To gain the trust of their victims, criminals made a second call, allegedly from a police officer, who confirmed that the account was indeed “hacked” and that it was necessary to transfer money to another account.

In both instances, the scammers called their victims from what seemed to be genuine numbers associated with banks and local police. To do this, they used a technique called spoofing, which allows the caller to show a different number than the one they are actually using.

The scene of a police raid in a Ukrainian apartment. Image: Czech national police

In Czechia alone, the gang made approximately €8 million ($8.7 million) through such calls. Czech police called it “one of the most extensive series of frauds committed through fake bankers.”

As a result of the joint investigation, four suspects were arrested in Czechia in April of this year and six were arrested in Ukraine and later extradited to Czechia. The police searched their apartments and offices, seizing mobile phones, SIM cards, and computer equipment during the crackdown.

Ukrainian police reported in September that the gang had two leaders — a Ukrainian and a Czech citizen — who recruited nearly 20 people to work for them. The suspects range in age from 18 to 29, and some of them have a criminal history, including violent crime, drug offenses, and document forgery, according to the Czech police.

If proven guilty, they can face up to 12 years in prison in Czechia.

CybercrimeBriefs
Get more insights with the

Recorded Future

Intelligence Cloud.

Learn more.

No previous article

No new articles

Daryna Antoniuk
is a freelance reporter for Recorded Future News based in Ukraine. She writes about cybersecurity startups, cyberattacks in Eastern Europe and the state of the cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia. She previously was a tech reporter for Forbes Ukraine. Her work has also been published at Sifted, The Kyiv Independent and The Kyiv Post.

 

Total
0
Shares
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post

Google to distribute 100,000 Titan Security Keys to high-risk users

Next Post

Polish court discovers secret cryptomining rigs hidden throughout building

Related Posts

Cryptominers Targeting Misconfigured Apache Hadoop and Flink with Rootkit in New Attacks

Cybersecurity researchers have identified a new attack that exploits misconfigurations in Apache Hadoop and Flink to deploy cryptocurrency miners within targeted environments. "This attack is particularly intriguing due to the attacker's use of packers and rootkits to conceal the malware," Aqua security researchers Nitzan Yaakov and Assaf Morag said in an analysis published earlier
Avatar
Read More