UK Internet Fraud Foiled In Meath

An international investigation into a €4million UK internet scam has led Irish police to raid a house in County Meath.

Garda fraud squad officers seized a quantity of documents while assisting an investigation by the London Metropolitan Police Service's e-Crime Unit.

The Meath raid came after the arrest of five men and one woman, aged between 25 and 40 in London, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit online banking fraud and other offences.

One of the men arrested, although not from Ireland, also had an address in Navan, which was searched on Tuesday.

The gang is suspected of stealing up to €430,000 from UK bank accounts by acquiring the internet banking details of unsuspecting computer users. A further €3.6m is thought to have been stolen through the fraudulent use of UK credit cards.

The figures involved are, however, expected to become larger as the investigation progresses. The offences were committed almost entirely online, according to the Metropolitan Police.

The gang are believed to have used erroneous websites and spam email campaigns to obtain online passwords and credit card numbers.

More than 10,000 bank accounts and a further 10,000 credit cards are believed to have been compromised by the gang's activities, investigators said.

The scam involved gang members sending large quantities of unsolicited spam emails, directing victims to spoof web sites, purporting to be legitimate online banking sites.

Once a victim reaches the site, they were lured into providing their banking passwords and other personal information. The information was used by the suspected fraudsters to then unlawfully enter the victims' online bank accounts and transfer funds. Credit card details were obtained and exploited in the same way.

Detective Inspector Colin Wetherill, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "By disrupting the operation we have hopefully prevented further loss to individuals and institutions."


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