The Guardia Civil has arrested 16 people from a criminal organisation dedicated to internet scams.
The organisation allegedly infected the computer equipment of the victims and impersonated the Post Office, the Tax Agency, the Treasury or the DGT.
The organisation would use malicious software that would be installed in victim’s computers using a technique known as “email spoofing”. They then would be able to steal large amounts of money from the victim’s account.
In the operation, known as Aguas Vivas, officers were able to block transfer attempts of 3,500,000 euros, after analysing over 1,800 emails.
20 crimes of fraud have been found, with a total amount of 276,470 euros, of which 87,000 euros have been recovered.
According to Malaga Hoy, they also carried out two searches in Madrid in which documentation, mobile devices and computer equipment have been seized.
The investigation began over a year ago following several complaints files by various official bodies across Spain of the infection of their computer equipment with some type of malicious software.
The complainants received emails claiming to be from official bodies such as the Tax Agency, Treasury, Correos and DGT, asking them to pay debts, pick up packages or pay traffic fines and to click the link provided.
Once the link was clicked, they would unknowingly be entering a website from which, in the background, the malicious program was downloaded and installed. The software would then remain in the background and be activated when the user accessed any banking website and make transactions, without the victim’s knowledge.
It would intercept and modify data, with the organisation taking over a total of 30 bank accounts. They would then send it to another account or withdraw the cash at ATMs transfers by Bizum, Revolut cards, etc in order to hinder the possible police investigation.
One of the characteristics noticed by victims was that once the software was unknowingly installed their computer would restart several times until access was blocked, they then noticed large amounts of money missing from their accounts.
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