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Police seize iSpoof call spoofing site, warns 70,000 victims by text message

Updated on 2022-11-27: Police seize iSpoof call spoofing site, warns 70,000 victims by text message

Baller week for international law enforcement who took down iSpoof, a notorious call spoofing site used by criminals to impersonate banks and other organizations. In iSpoof’s place is now a seizure notice saying that U.S. and European police nabbed the site and its operators. Last year police said the site was used to make over 10 million fraudulent calls, making $58 million in damages at least. Police have made more than 100 arrests so far, including in Ireland, in connection with the seizure. Here’s the twist: U.K. police said they are sending text messages to victims to alert them to the fraud and to help police build criminal cases on behalf of victims. Well, it was going well for the police, until the regular folk pointed out the obvious flaw in the plan: How will fraud victims know whether the police texts are legitimate? It’s a nice idea in principle, but not one fully thought out. At least they redeemed themselves by posting a jaunty taxpayer-funded video to the seized site’s Telegram channel telling everyone they were about to be arrested. Read more:

Updated on 2022-11-25: Authorities seize iSpoof in major blow to fraudsters and cybercrime groups

Europol and law enforcement agencies from several countries have seized the servers and websites of iSpoof, a service that allowed users to make calls and send SMS messages using spoofed identities.

Authorities seize iSpoof in major blow to fraudsters and cybercrime groups

The service launched in December 2020 and advertised itself as a way for users to protect their phone numbers and identities online, but Europol said that iSpoof was widely abused for fraud as it allowed cybercrime gangs to pose as banks and other financial organizations.

An investigation into iSpoof began in 2021 after Dutch Police identified the service during one of its fraud investigations. Dutch Police said they linked the service to a web host in Almere, where they deployed a wiretap that allowed them to map the site’s reach and learn the identities of its registered users and administrators.

Officials said iSpoof had more than 59,000 registered users before it was taken down this month.

One hundred forty-two suspects were detained throughout the month of November, with more than 100 individuals detained in the UK alone, including iSpoof’s administrators, the UK Met Police said.

Europol said iSpoof was being used to place more than one million spoofed calls each month, that administrators made more than €3.7 million, and that the service has been linked to fraud and losses of over €115 million worldwide.

UK police said they plan to notify all UK users who received spoofed calls made through iSpoof.

Updated on 2022-11-24: Metropolitan Police Send Texts to Notify Fraud Victims

London’s (UK) Metropolitan Police are texting more than 70,000 individuals who are likely victims of online banking scams. The notifications follow an international operation that shut down operations of a crime group that spoofed phone numbers of numerous banks. More than 100 people have been arrested in connection with the scams.

Note

  • This is pretty cool. In this case fraudsters were randomly calling people, claiming to be their bank contacting them to discuss suspicious activity on their accounts. They were impersonating Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays, Halifax, First Direct, Nationwide, TSB, NatWest and Santander. The cool part is that police are texting numbers connected for over a minute to the known fraudsters to collect information to bolster the case against the fraudsters.

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Overview

International law enforcement took down the iSpoof online spoofing service and arrested 146 individuals, including the platform leader. Read more: ‘iSpoof’ service dismantled, main operator and 145 users arrested

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