Twenty charged in cyber fraud probe which includes Suffolk £1million victim
09:45 04 March 2016
Twenty people have been charged over an alleged national bank cyber-fraud scam which included a Suffolk company being duped out of just over £1million.
The Felixstowe-based business handed over the money after a bogus caller was said to have contacted staff on September 16 last year telling them there was a virus on the firm’s internet banking facility.
Police said the company was advised money in its accounts should be transferred into separate holding accounts while the bank rectified the issue.
The suspect managed to disguise his own telephone number to show the number of the bank’s fraud team which was on their website.
The caller managed to gain the staff member’s trust and instructed them to download remote access software on the firm’s computer. This enabled the suspect to allegedly transfer money from the company’s account.
On September 28 a 32-year-old man from Chiswick was arrested during an investigation by Suffolk’s Cyber-Crime Unit. However, he is not one of those to be charged. A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said the suspect remains on bail until May.
As the inquiry progressed it branched out into a nationwide probe with similar alleged frauds elsewhere in the country said to be linked.
The Metropolitan Police’s Falcon cyber crime and fraud team took over the investigation, resulting in 20 men and women are from east and west London, Cardiff, Luton, and Scotland being charged with various offences.
The Met Police has said the charges include conspiracy to defraud, possession of fraudulent articles, and conspiracy to commit money-laundering offences. Some of those charged have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentence, while others face trials at Southwark Crown Court and Snaresbrook Crown Court in April and June.
One of the men awaiting trial was extradited from France in December after being detained on a European Arrest Warrant at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, on November 13. He was arrested by French police on November 19 on the warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates’ Court.