Europol shuts down fraudulent call centers with more than 100 multilingual employees

Law enforcement agencies in Latvia and Lithuania, in collaboration with Europol and Eurojust, arrested more than 100 people allegedly involved in the operation of a fraudulent call center network with international reach.

Between March 24 and 25, hundreds of agents, including special intervention teams, raided a total of three call centers operated by the same criminal group, accused of scamming hundreds of people around the world.

This fraudulent network operated in multiple languages, including English, Russian, Hindi and Polish, offering potential victims the possibility of making a lot of money by investing in cryptocurrency, commodities and foreign currencies. Needless to say, these alleged investments were actually part of the electronic fraud.

If a user fell into the trap, they were asked to make bank deposits to accounts controlled by cybercriminals, and were asked to wait to receive additional documents related to their alleged investment. After receiving the bank transfers, the cybercriminals simply cut off communication with the victims.

Europol estimates that these fraudulent activities represented illicit profits of up to €3 million per month. The international agency also mentioned that the police operation resulted in:

  • 80 people arrested in Latvia and 28 more in Lithuania
  • Seizure of cash, bank accounts and luxury vehicles
  • Seizure of almost 100,000 Euros in cryptocurrency

Europol’s European Centre for Economic and Financial Crime supported the investigation by coordinating the national investigators of Latvia and Lithuania to establish a joint strategy and organize the intensive exchange of evidence necessary to deliver the final blow against this fraudulent scheme.

In addition, specialists from the European Centre for Financial and Economic Crime and the European Cybercrime Centre were sent to Latvia and Lithuania to assist local authorities in all work related to the investigation.

For its part, Eurojust supported by setting up a joint investigation team, organising intelligence meetings and providing additional assistance with the implementation of a European Investigation Order during the day of the raids.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.