Nine suspects detained in investigation into phishing

Officers from the Antwerp Local Police Service have detained of nine suspects during searches at ten addresses as part of an investigation into phishing. Two suspects are still at large. Those detained are suspected of so-called "safe account fraud". They are suspected of having obtained victims’ log-ins and passwords by getting them to log on to fake bank websites.

Police say that the gang’s victims were first contacted by a someone claiming to be from their bank. They were told that they needed to renew their bank card reader. They were then asked to a log on to a website where they had to leave their login and password details.

A police spokesperson told journalists that "The suspects then transferred money between their victim's savings and current account. Afterwards, they contacted their victims and advised them victims to protect their money by transferring it to a “secure vault account”. Those that did so never saw their cash again.

Dozens of victims are said to have lost between 25,000 and 50,000 euros each. The gang is believed to have defrauded its victims of as much as 1.3 million euro between the end of 2020 and March 2021 in Antwerp Province alone.

The suspects that were detained earlier this week are primarily suspected of money laundering. They are alleged to have laundered their ill-gotten gains by purchasing crypto coins and through casinos located near to Antwerp Central Station.



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