The National Police has arrested seven people in the province of Seville for his alleged membership in a criminal organization dedicated to defrauding companies and freelancers. The money defrauded through the man in the middle method is around Two millions of euros.
As detailed by police sources to OKDIARIO Andalusia, all those arrested, “the recruiters and the mules”, are of Spanish nationality, although the investigations continue to dismantle the leadership of the network, which would be based abroad. The ‘Lucus’ operation of the National Police has been open for two years given the difficulty of coordinating the investigation and the necessary procedures with other countries. At the moment, the agents have the magnifying glass on three other individuals.
The criminal organization carried out the fraud with a mode of operation narrowly defined: cybercriminals intercept electronic communications between suppliers and customers in order to access the documentation that both exchange, mainly invoices. Once the information is obtained, they pretend to be the supplier to claim the amount owed from the customer, indicating, however, that the payment of the invoice must be made in a different bank account than usual. When the money is entered into the fraudulent account, it is immediately transferred to second and third accounts, losing its trail in a few days, as the Police explained in a press release this Wednesday.
The origin of the investigations dates back almost two years ago, when a well-known perfumery chain with premises throughout the national territory denounced a scam of almost 200,000 euros using this method. After “multiple and complex” investigations, the Police managed to identify the alleged perpetrators, linked to “numerous scams” carried out with the same system and locating victims in Spain and abroad.
In the operation, four entries and searches of homes have been carried out in the Sevillian towns of Coria del Rio, Molars y The Palaces and Villafranca. The seven arrested are charged with the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, fraud, documentary falsehood, illegal computer access and money laundering. Computer equipment, a computer, eight mobile phones, documentation and 2,000 euros in cash have also been seized.
The investigation, which is still open, has gone through different phases. The last of them ended last June and the researchers estimate that the red criminal has defrauded different businesses of an amount close to two million euros. The National Police has warned the scammed companies of the intermediaries involved and has provided a list of recommendations to avoid being defrauded through the man in the middle method.
In the first place, special importance should be given to the computer security measures of the company through the use of antivirusthe continuous update of software of computer equipment and protecting the red wifi with strong passwords. Likewise, it is recommended to warn the personnel of the company, especially the area of accountingof the possible scams that can occur so that the alert does not decay.