While the Vienna Cybercrime Trials around the Israeli Gal Barak continued this week in Vienna, Europol announced that it conducted a huge law enforcement action against another Israeli cybercrime network operating broker scams. The cross-border law enforcement action was led by a German law enforcement team supported by Europol and Eurojust. In total, 11 people have been arrested. In addition, several locations were searched in Bulgaria, Israel, Poland, North Macedonia, and Sweden with seizures, including real estate, jewelry, high-end vehicles, and approximately €2 million in cash.
The investigation involved law enforcement and judicial authorities from Bulgaria, Israel, Latvia, North-Macedonia, Poland, Spain, and Sweden. The law enforcement teams arrest five people in Bulgaria, five in Spain, and one in Israel. Authorities have been investigating the cybercrime organization for investment fraud and money laundering.
Fake experts and manipulated software
The cybercrime organization operated at least four scam broker sites, luring victims through advertisements in social media and search engines. Their boiler room agents were posing as experienced brokers when contacting the victims. The organization used manipulated trading software to present fake investments’ gains and motivate the victims to invest even more.
€30M stolen from EU victims
According to Europol, the cybercrime organization was organized mainly by Israeli nationals and included boiler rooms in Bulgaria and North Macedonia. As a result, the criminals defrauded victims across Europe of an estimated €30 million. Victims from Germany alone suffered at least €7 million in losses while 300 complaints were filed in Spain. The suspects laundered the illegal profits through bank accounts controlled or owned by shell companies based in different EU countries.