Interpol intercepts $130 million from online fraud

A major operation led by Interpol led to the arrest of nearly a thousand suspects, and led to the interception of 130 million dollars (nearly 125 million euros) in assets from online fraud , announced Thursday, November 24, the international criminal police organization in a press release.

Voice phishing, romance scams, “sextortion” (extortion using sexual images), investment fraud, compromise of business emails, money laundering related to illegal online gambling: the Operation Haechi III lasted more than five months, from June 28 to November 23, in around thirty countries, explains Interpol.

In total, the operation resulted in the arrest of 975 people and the resolution of more than 1,600 cases. Nearly 2,800 virtual deposit and asset accounts have been blocked in connection with these financial crime cases.

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Ponzi scheme

The investigations launched under Haechi III generated the publication of 95 Interpol notices and diffusions, and helped to identify new emerging trends in online crime, in particular new variations in identity theft. Investigators have also noted an increase in fraud on instant messaging applications that encourage payment via cryptocurrency wallets.

In one of the investigations, two Koreans under the influence of Interpol red notices, suspected of having embezzled 28 million euros from 2,000 victims thanks to a Ponzi pyramid (a fraud which consists in remunerating the investments of customers mainly by funds provided by new entrants), were stopped in Greece and Italy.

Austrian and Indian investigators have identified a group of cybercriminals posing as Interpol agents. This group persuaded victims to transfer money through financial institutions, cryptocurrency platforms and dematerialized gift cards.

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The World with AFP

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