So-called bank employees divert almost 500,000 euros from dozens of victims

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So-called bank employees divert almost 500,000 euros from dozens of victims

Utrecht – More than 60 people have been defrauded of almost 500,000 euros by so-called ‘bank employees’ in recent months. Thanks to police investigations, the cases of these victims could be traced back to three suspects. These three were arrested on Tuesday, March 14 at various locations in the Netherlands. Searches also yielded other finds such as narcotics and two air guns.

All victims were called between August 2022 and February 2023 by so-called ‘bank employees’ who managed to gain their trust in a devious way. Something was said to be wrong with the victim’s account and action had to be taken quickly. “What was special about this study was that the fake bank employees ‘helped’ the victims in various ways. For example, phishing links were sent in e-mails or via Whatsapp, the program Anydesk and the fake bank employees sometimes let victims transfer money themselves to ‘secure vault accounts’. Several victims also came to the door to collect the debit card,” says a detective from the Central Netherlands Digital Crime Team.

Relationship between the cases

The Central Netherlands Digital Crime Team saw some of these stories and, despite the different methods, they saw that there was a connection. “Through extensive investigative work, we have now linked more than 60 cases. In addition, almost 500,000 euros were diverted and ended up in the hands of criminals. However, we think that more victims have been made throughout the country,” says the detective involved.

Arrests

In the investigation conducted in collaboration with the Flevoland district detective, three suspects emerged: A 25-year-old and a 20-year-old man from Schiedam and a 20-year-old man from Delft.

The detective explains: “These suspects are probably involved in looting bank accounts via online transfers and using ATMs. In addition, there was shopping at various (web) stores at the expense of the victims.” The suspects were arrested on Tuesday, March 14 in Appingedam, Schiedam and Delft. The detectives from Central Netherlands were supported in this by various support groups from other units. The suspects are currently still in custody and further arrests are not ruled out.

Results searches

In addition to the arrests, four different homes were also searched. In addition to the necessary data carriers, various other goods were found that suggest that the suspects were also involved in other criminal offences. For example, detectives found 25,000 euros in cash, a trade amount of narcotics and a money counting machine. Balaclavas and two air guns were also found. Several expensive branded goods were also seized.

Tackling digital crime

The police and the Public Prosecution Service respond flexibly to developments in digital crime in society. A joint action program has been set up for this purpose, with which we can act faster and more effectively. This case is a good example of that. In this approach to digital crime, we not only look at investigation and prosecution, but also at other ways of redress that compensate the victim, stop the perpetrator and relieve the criminal justice chain, such as holding the perpetrators directly liable for the damage. The police also work closely with external partners, such as banks, municipalities, telecom providers, the national internet scam reporting center and the fraud helpdesk. This not only focuses on criminal law enforcement, but also on disrupting criminal processes and prevention.

About bank help desk fraud

You can prevent yourself from becoming a victim. A bank employee calls you and you don’t trust it? Then hang up and call the bank number you know. Never let anyone collect your debit card or install a program on your computer. Warn the elderly and vulnerable people in your area about these practices. Have you become a victim? Call your bank immediately. Always file a police report. Call 0900-8844 for an appointment or visitpolice.nl for more information.

Information source: Politie.nl

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