Six arrested in Valencia for a cyber fraud against companies that exceed two million euros
The Civil Guard has already located more than 40 companies based in Spain, the United States, France, Portugal and Romania that have been deceived by the disjointed organization
The detainees accessed the companies' computer system, from where they asked customers to make payments in the bank accounts of the intermediaries they had for hire.
The researchers have identified more than 60 people who made these cheap “mules” receiving transfers in exchange for commissions of between 5% and 10%
In the framework of the Holmes operation, the Civil Guard has arrested six people in Valencia for defrauding more than 2,200,000 euros from more than 40 companies based in Spain, the United States, France, Portugal and Romania.
They are considered the perpetrators of the crimes of fraud, discovery and disclosure of secrets, money laundering, documentary falsification and criminal organization.
The disjointed organization accessed the victim companies' computer system from where they contacted clients to make outstanding payments in bank accounts at the service of the organization.
Using the method known as “man in the middle”, these accounts were in the name of intermediaries who received in exchange a commission of between 5% and 10% of the scam.
Planned cyber attacks
The modus operandi consisted of attacking the email accounts of the companies to obtain data on pending invoices, bank accounts and potential customers. Once inside the computer system, they select one of these clients and, after impersonating the real company, request that the money be deposited into a different account than the one agreed, owned by the organization.
Once the deposit is made into these fraudulent accounts, the scammers divide the money and distribute it, through small transfers, to accounts of “economic mules” who, later, extract it, after receiving a commission that ranges between 5% and 10% of the amount received.
Almost fifty scams
Civil Guards of the Judicial Police and the Villajoyosa Investigation Area (Alicante) have already located more than 40 scammed companies, in fields as diverse as laboratories, cooperatives, private schools, hotels, energy companies or transport.
So far, the agents have been able to recover 800,000 euros of the scammed amount. They have also blocked 150 bank accounts, from different financial entities.
Very hierarchical organization
The dismantled organization had more than 60 people at its disposal, to hack accounts, distribute the money and prevent its true identity from being known.
The commissioners of these commissioned “mules” came to accompany them to the ATMs, to ensure that they were given the cash. If they were not able to withdraw the cash in full or transfer it to the other accounts of the organization, this person did not charge their percentage.
These figureheads were captured among people with economic needs, many of them aggravated by the current state of alarm.
Once each controller had their share of the cash, the support and logistics branch appeared, who collected all this cash, concentrated it and quickly took it to the boss, who detracted the relevant commissions and sent it to the dome.
In the event that the money was withheld by banking entities on suspicion of money laundering, the organization issued false commercial contracts in the name of the mules to try to unblock the withheld capital.
In the event of non-compliance by the front men, the organization threatened them and their families.
In the different house searches carried out, nearly 27,000 euros in cash, numerous state-of-the-art mobile phones, diaries with notes on criminal economic transactions and a vehicle were seized.
The operation is still open and the Civil Guard does not rule out further arrests.
All detainees have been placed in provisional prison without bail, awaiting trial.
For more information, you can contact the Press Office of the Civil Guard in Alicante, at 96 514 56 60 ext. 446 – 406 and 680,416,220.