Spain’s National Police says it has arrested 40 people for their alleged involvement in the so-called organized crime gang Trinity.
Among those arrested included two hackers who committed bank fraud through phishing and smishing techniques and 15 other members of the crime syndicate, all of whom have been charged with a number of offenses such as bank fraud, document forgery, identity theft and money laundering.
Altogether, this nefarious scheme is believed to have tricked over 300,000 victims, resulting in losses of over €700,000.
“Criminal organizations use hacking tools and business logistics to commit computer fraud,” the officials said said.
To carry out the attack, cybercriminals send fake links via SMS which, when clicked, redirect users to phishing panels posing as legitimate financial institutions to steal their credentials and abuse access to request loans and link cards to cryptocurrency wallets under them. control.
These SMS messages attempt to create a false sense of urgency and increase the perpetrators’ chances of success by urging recipients to click on the accompanying link to resolve the claimed security issue with their bank account.
Stolen cards are used to purchase digital assets, which are then cashed out to fund the group’s operations, such as paying legal fees, sending money to members in jail, and purchasing narcotics and weapons.
Some of the illicit proceeds were also sent to foreign bank accounts, from which members of other groups used the money to buy real estate in the Dominican Republic.
“They also have an extensive network of mules which they use to receive money from bank transfers and withdraw it via ATMs,” said Polri.
Another scam the outfit perpetrated involved point-of-sale (PoS) terminal contracts with setting up front companies to make counterfeit purchases.
Authorities said 13 home searches were carried out in the provinces of Madrid, Seville and Guadalajara, leading to the confiscation of computer equipment, padlocks, €5,000 in cash, a key-picking tool and other documents containing information about the gang’s organizational structure.