Police forces across Europe have made over 95 arrests of criminals who set up fake Web shops offering too-good-to-be-true product prices as a front for stealing card details.
The suspects arrested during the operation are believed to be responsible for more than 20,000 fraudulent transactions using compromised credit cards, with an estimated value exceeding EUR8 million. The action was coordinated by Europol, working closely with law enforcement, the banking industry and retailers across 28 countries.
The scammers were using social media to create bogus IDs, offering goods to buyers for a heavily discounted price, paying for the goods with compromised card details and in the process stealing the buyer's card data for onsale to fraud forums on the Dark Web.
The operations in the UK were led by officers from the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU).
Glyn Whittick, head of the DCPCU, comments: “The success of these operations shows how through close cooperation with our European partners, retailers and the financial sector, we are cracking down on the criminal gangs targeting consumers online. People should remember when shopping online that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.”