Three arrested for cheating more than ten million euros to foreign companies
They used the method known as “fraud to the CEO” with which they hacked the email accounts of managers
Cyberstafe has affected 12 companies based in ten countries
The Civil Guard has arrested three people and investigates a fourth for having scammed 12 foreign companies through computer fraud. The total amount scammed amounts to 10,700,000 euros.
The victims of this cybercrime are based in Belgium, Venezuela, Bulgaria, Norway, the United States, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Chile and the United Kingdom.
The method used by the detainees is the so-called "CEO fraud" or "BEC scam" -Business Email Compromise-. The attackers supplanted the identity-hope-pishing of the managers of these companies, taking control of their email accounts. Subsequently, they requested false transfers to the banks with which these companies usually work. The money transferred had just been distributed in the organization's accounts.
To give more credibility, cyber-scammers attached pro-forma invoices to the mails, where the letterhead of the companies they issued was listed.
The authors of this computer scam face the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, continued scam, money laundering, discovery and disclosure of secrets, documentary falsehood and usurpation of marital status.
To launder the money, the organization had created a complex financial framework of companies and bank accounts. Researchers have come to identify a total of 83 companies and 185 bank accounts related to this scam. In order not to be detected, the course of the scammed money suffered a continuous movement between these accounts. So far, the Civil Guard has been able to recover 1,290,000 euros, divided into 16 accounts of the band that have already been blocked. The organization also bleached the benefits directly through the purchase of real estate.
The Lavanco operation began in 2016 in Sarria (Lugo). Directed from the Lugo Command, it has had the collaboration of Europol and Interpol, as well as that of several foreign police bodies such as the FBI or the German BKA.
The perpetrators of these crimes – between 34 and 67 years of age – are neighbors of Seville, Cuenca, Tarragona and Albacete, and have already gone to court.