Fraudster arrested for sending more than 120,000 fraudulent SMS messages per hour

Fraudster arrested for sending more than 120,000 fraudulent SMS messages per hour
The Guardia Civil has seized more than 600 cards in the name of fictitious or usurped identities.

The Guardia Civil, within the framework of the Alhedizos operation, has arrested a person who managed to defraud a total of 85,000 euros over the internet.

To do so, he used the method known as “Man in the Middle”, which consisted of intercepting electronic communications between town councils located in different provinces and the companies that provided services to these councils.

By means of this method, e-mails were intercepted between a company or public body and the service provider. Thus, they impersonated one of the parties in order to collect the amount of the services that one of the two parties provided. They accessed the documentation attached to the electronic communications, mostly invoices, in order to claim the amount, indicating an account number other than the usual one.

These entities used the FACe platform, an online server that allows electronic invoices to be submitted to any body of the General State Administration. The GSM modems intercepted are made up of 208 ports where a SIM card is inserted in each one, the functionality of which is to send bulk SMS messages. These devices have the capacity to send 124,888 fraudulent SMS messages every hour.

After identifying the alleged perpetrator, the Guardia Civil travelled to the town of Tarragona and carried out a house search and proceeded to arrest the perpetrator.

Intervened effects

The agents seized two latest generation mobile phones, a computer with very sophisticated hardware and different software configured to carry out various technological scams.

They also found several holograms with the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Spain to forge documents, a POS terminal for contactless payments, three memory cards with more than 400 forged documents and more than 600 prepaid SIM cards.

As a result of the intervention of these technologically advanced items, numerous criminal acts have been prevented in which a large number of national and international citizens would have been harmed.

The investigators are still analysing the material seized, so the relationship of the person arrested in other criminal acts related to different methods of fraud is not ruled out.

The proceedings have been sent to the Juzgado de 1a Instancia e Instrucción no 3 de Huércal Overa.

The Guardia Civil insists that importance should be given to the company’s computer security measures, through the use of antivirus, continuous updating of software on computer equipment, protecting the Wifi network with secure passwords, verification of the origin of emails received.

On the other hand, it is recommended to warn company staff, especially those in the accounting area, of the scams that can occur so that they remain constantly alert.

 

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