A voice phishing gang defrauded victims across Europe of tens of millions of euros through call centers located in Ukraine, according to Europol.
The “prolific” criminal group mainly targeted victims in Czechia, with the damage caused there alone estimated at over €8 million ($8.7 million), Europol said.
The pan-European policing agency cooperated with the authorities in both Czechia and Ukraine, as well as Eurojust, a European criminal justice cooperation agency, to take down the illegal network.
According to Europol, six suspects were arrested in Ukraine and four in Czechia in April this year. Raids were carried out in locations in both countries, including the homes of the suspects, vehicles, and call centers.
Mobile phones, SIM cards, and computer equipment were seized as part of the crackdown, the authorities said.
The suspects used spoofed phone numbers and impersonated bank employees and police officers to gain trust of their victims, Europol said.
The victims would then be asked to transfer funds from their “compromised” bank accounts to the “safe” accounts of the criminals.
The case regarding the gang’s activities was first opened at Eurojust in November two years ago at the request of the Czech authorities. A joint investigation team was then set up between the Czech and Ukrainian parties in June last year.
Earlier this week, Europol said the police busted four call centers in Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Serbia that defrauded their mainly German victims of over €2 million.
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