Nine Arrested For Impersonating Bank Clerks To Steal From The Elderly
The Dutch Police have arrested nine people for targeting and stealing money from the elderly by impersonating bank employees.
The group of bank help desk fraudsters, five men and four women between the ages of 20 and 27, were arrested between September 14 and October 19, 2021.
Victims making the money transfers themselves
The scammers now face criminal charges for defrauding multiple targets while posing as bank employees in phone calls where they used caller ID spoofing to make it appear as if they called from real financial institutions in the Netherlands.
In their attacks, they informed their victims of supposedly suspicious transactions linked to their banking accounts.
The scenario that was presented to the victims is that their accounts have been hacked, and so for reasons of safety, they needed to transfer whatever remaining money they had to a secure ‘vault account’.
In reality, the victims simply transferred their money to the actors’ accounts and were left with no option to retrieve it.
The Dutch police receives over 200 reports of incidents of this kind every single day, which is indicative of the scale of the particular scam.
During the searchers on the homes of the fraudsters, the police found and confiscated cash, designer clothes, and hardware.
Moreover, the investigators were able to freeze cryptocurrency assets the suspects had invested some of the stolen funds in.
The Dutch Police also sent WhatsApp messages to the contacts of those arrested warning them about committing similar crimes.
As a way to discourage cybercrime, Dutch law enforcement has recently begun sending messages to would-be criminals that they are being watched.
Earlier this year, the Dutch Police begun posting warnings on Russian and English-speaking hacker forums warning members not to commit cybercrime as law enforcement is watching their activity.
More recently, the Dutch Police emailed customers of a DDoS booter service warning them that they would be arrested if they commit further offenses.
Tanya Timmers, chief of the Rotterdam cybercrime team behind the investigation made the following comment on the arrest: “By buying luxury goods, such as designer clothing and jewelry, these young people have a certain status online and for the outside world. In the meantime, their homes are dirty, the fines are piling up, and they sleep in a bunk bed with their younger brother.”
The Dutch police gives the following advice on how to protect yourself from bank fraudsters:
- Keep in mind that no bank employee will ever ask you to share sensitive info about your account.
- If someone calls to ask you to transfer money for whatever reason, it’s a scam.
- You should never install and/or use anything other than the bank’s official app.
- Do not give your PIN or e-banking account codes to anyone.
- Your card is usable if stolen, as long as the chip hasn’t been cut in half.
- When in doubt, call the bank yourself by using the phone number found on the official site.