NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 22:25
Two men have been arrested in Amsterdam on suspicion of large-scale bank help desk fraud. A hundred people have reported the case, alleging that they were robbed for a total of 175,000 euros. The police believe there are more victims and are calling on them to come forward.
The two suspects are 20 and 18 years old. The eldest was arrested last Tuesday. He tried to flee in a car, police say. He threw three phones and a tablet out the window. Despite damage, officers managed to access the information on the phones.
On this basis, the youngest suspect was arrested today. The 18-year-old may have collected bank cards from victims. The 20-year-old man is suspected of committing bank helpdesk fraud, computer trespassing and money laundering.
In this form of fraud, people are called by scammers pretending to be bank employees. For example, victims are told that someone is trying to break into their account, and that they should transfer their savings to a ‘safe’ account as soon as possible.
In other cases, the fraudsters, with the victim’s consent, take remote control of someone’s computer. The scammers then transfer the money themselves via the PC. Sometimes victims also see the name of their bank on their phone, but that is a trick.
“Victims sometimes feel ashamed. That is not necessary,” the police say. “Bank helpdesk fraud is unfortunately common and perpetrators operate in a sophisticated manner.” The money siphoned off is regularly laundered through the purchase of gift cards. Expensive electronics such as mobile phones are then purchased from this, and these items are resold to middlemen.
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