clearn.png
Friday December 2nd, 2022 7:29AM

UK police target spoofing site in massive fraud crackdown

By The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — More than 70,000 potential victims of banking scams across the U.K. will receive text messages from police on Thursday asking for their help in what authorities are calling their biggest ever anti-fraud operation.

British authorities have already arrested more than 100 people after taking down a website they described as an “international one-stop spoofing shop,” London’s Metropolitan Police Service said. Spoofing refers to fraudsters who disguise their phone numbers to make potential victims believe a call is coming from a trusted source such as their own bank.

Police are now contacting fraud victims who lost “tens of millions of pounds” to encourage them to report the crimes and help authorities prosecute thousands of suspected scammers who used the iSpoof website. One victim alone was conned out of 3.2 million pounds ($3.9 million), police said.

The campaign comes as authorities change their approach to combatting widespread electronic fraud, going after the individual scammers instead of simply shutting down websites like iSpoof that enable them, said Commissioner Mark Rowley, who heads London’s police service. Police in Britain are working with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and authorities in Europe on the iSpoof investigation.

“The Met is targeting the criminals at the center of these illicit webs that cause misery for thousands,” Rowley said. “By taking away the tools and systems that have enabled fraudsters to cheat innocent people at scale, this operation shows how we are determined to target corrupt individuals intent on exploiting often vulnerable victims.”

Fraudsters used iSpoof to disguise their phone numbers then posed as representatives of legitimate British banks, including Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Nationwide and TSB, police said.

In their effort to identify and prosecute the fraudsters, police allowed iSpoof to continue operating so they could infiltrate the site and gather information on its users.

The website was created in December of 2020 and had 59,000 user accounts, police said. Of 10 million fraudulent calls made through iSpoof, 40% were to numbers in the United States and 35% were in the U.K.

Because of the large number of potential suspects, police are focusing first on U.K. users who paid at least 100 pounds in Bitcoin to use iSpoof.

The suspected organizer of the website was arrested earlier this month in East London. He has been charged with a number of offenses and remains in custody, police said.

British authorities have forwarded information about other suspects to law enforcement agencies in The Netherlands, Australia, France and Ireland.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Teachers, lecturers join postal workers in UK strike action
Most schools in Scotland are closed as thousands of teachers walked off the job, joining scores of postal workers and university lecturers in industrial action to demand better pay and working conditions to cope with the country’s cost-of-living crisis
5:52AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Ukraine works to restore power after bruising Russian attack
Kyiv's mayor says that 70% of the Ukrainian capital has been left without power a day after Moscow unleashed yet another devastating missile barrage on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure
5:46AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Kim's sister makes insulting threats to Seoul over sanctions
The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has attacked South Korea with a string of insults for considering new unilateral sanctions against the North
5:04AM ( 58 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
China expands lockdowns as COVID-19 cases hit daily record
China is expanding pandemic lockdowns, including in a city where factory workers clashed with police this week, as its number of COVID-19 cases hits a daily record
3:54AM ( 2 hours ago )
Foxconn apologizes for pay dispute at China factory
The company that assembles Apple Inc.’s iPhones has apologized for what it said was a technical error that led to protests by employees over payment of wages offered to attract them to a factory that is under anti-virus restrictions
3:15AM ( 2 hours ago )
Walmart manager kills 6 in Virginia in another mass slaying
Police and witnesses say a manager at a Virginia Walmart pulled out a handgun before a routine employee meeting and began firing wildly in the break room, killing six people and injuring at least six others
1:35AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
Most Fed officials at last meeting backed slower rate hikes
Most Federal Reserve officials at their last meeting favored reducing the size of their interest rate hikes “soon’’— just before raising their benchmark rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for a fourth straight time
3:08PM ( 14 hours ago )
Fed at last meeting saw few signs that inflation was easing
Federal Reserve officials at their last meeting saw “very few signs that inflation pressures were abating” before raising their benchmark interest rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for a fourth straight time
2:08PM ( 15 hours ago )
Nigeria hopes new currency notes curb inflation, corruption
Nigeria has unveiled newly designed currency notes that the West African nation’s central bank says will help curb inflation and money laundering
12:31PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Biden to continue family tradition of Nantucket Thanksgiving
President Joe Biden's family tradition of spending Thanksgiving on Nantucket may take on a more serious tone this year
7:36PM ( 1 day ago )
US stocks rise, strong earnings send retailers higher
Stocks rose on Wall Street and solid earnings helped jolt a mix of retailers higher ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. The S&P 500 rose 1.4% Tuesday
5:24PM ( 1 day ago )
OECD forecast: High rates, inflation to slow world growth
Hobbled by high interest rates, punishing inflation and Russia’s war against Ukraine, the world economy is expected to eke out only modest growth this year and to expand even more tepidly in 2023
5:18PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
Teachers, lecturers join postal workers in UK strike action
Most schools in Scotland are closed as thousands of teachers walked off the job, joining scores of postal workers and university lecturers in industrial action to demand better pay and working conditions to cope with the country’s cost-of-living crisis
5:52AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Ukraine works to restore power after bruising Russian attack
Kyiv's mayor says that 70% of the Ukrainian capital has been left without power a day after Moscow unleashed yet another devastating missile barrage on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure
5:46AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Kim's sister makes insulting threats to Seoul over sanctions
The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has attacked South Korea with a string of insults for considering new unilateral sanctions against the North
5:04AM ( 58 minutes ago )
Pakistani PM names ex-spy master to be new army chief
A Cabinet minister says Pakistan’s premier has named the country's former spy chief as head of the army
4:56AM ( 1 hour ago )
Long-time reformist leader Anwar sworn in as Malaysian PM
Long-time opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been sworn in as Malaysia’s prime minister
4:55AM ( 1 hour ago )