As per the latest reports, Europol has conducted a big operation on one of the criminal gangs involved in sim swapping. The European law enforcement agency has revealed that by conducting the operation, it has arrested 10 members of the gang.
The Europol report states the arrested criminals were part of the gang that was responsible for stealing cryptocurrencies. According to the initial investigation, the criminal gang had managed to steal around $100 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
The investigation that led Europol into arresting 10 criminals were triggered by a series of sim swapping attacks. According to the report, these sim swapping attacks had started emerging in the year 2020. The criminals had not only target small-time cryptocurrency users and investors, but they had also attacked high-profile cryptocurrency investors. Most of the high-profile crypto-users they attacked belong to the United States of America.
The European law enforcement agency briefed that they managed to nab 8 members of the gang on Tuesday, February 8, 2021. However, the agency already had the other 2 members of the gang in their custody. The other two members were arrested from Malta and Belgium respectively.
The report reveals that the gang member had targeted thousands of victims in their sim swapping crime. Not just limited to common people, the gang also targeted sports stars, internet influences, musicians, and their families.
In their report, Europol also provided information on how the sim swapping gang would carry out their scamming acts. The report states that the gang was composed of dozens of members who worked together to gain access to customers’ phone numbers. Once accessed, the gang members would change passwords to their accounts and take control of their applications.
By doing this, the criminals would be able to steal money, cryptocurrencies, and other sensitive information that they could get from the victim’s phone. They would also acquire contact numbers that would be synched with the victim’s account.
The report also reveals that law enforcement authorities from 5 different countries were in on the investigation. The joint efforts of all 5 countries managed to bring somewhat of an end to the criminal activities carried out by the gang.
Europol also stated that the criminal gang was also involved in hacking and gaining access to the social media accounts of the victims. After gaining access, the gang members would send messages or post content through the affected social media account to linked contacts.
According to the latest “Europol Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment” report, there has been a rise in sim swapping scams around the world. The sim swapping tactic has now become a key trend in the scamming business. Europol has reminded all mobile users from around the world to stay very vigilant and never shared their personal information with any phishing emails.