Europol recently announced the dismantling of an organized crime group responsible for phishing, fraud, scams, and money laundering activities. Law enforcement authorities from Belgium and the Netherlands partnered on the arrest of nine individuals in the Dutch nation. The suspects included men between the ages of 25 and 36 and a 25-year-old woman. Authorities also conducted house searches of 24 homes which led to the confiscation of firearms, ammunition, jewelry, designer clothing, electronic devices, thousands of euros in cash, and cryptocurrency.Some members are said to have connections with drug and firearm trafficking which is to be further investigated.
This cyber gang allegedly used common phishing techniques in order to lure victims into believing they were a legit banking company. They would contact victims by email, text, and other mobile messaging applications. Messages sent contained a phishing link that led to a bogus banking website. By clicking the link, victims were tricked into providing their credentials that were eventually stolen. With access to a victim’s account the syndicate would cash out several million euros with the help of money mules. Although the arrest was successful, phishing attacks using similar techniques will continue to occur. It is important for potential victims to be aware of fraudulent messages they receive and to contact their bank directly upon receiving anything suspicious.