Fraudsters said to have sent bricks and vegetables instead of the products their victims had paid for
Europol and its partners have claimed success in taking down a crew of criminals who were selling fake electronic items over eBay and as well as Polish online platforms.
Hundreds of victims, including some in the UK, ordered what they thought were Apple Macs and other well-known machines, but received nothing. Some customers using the Polish sites received bricks, fruit and vegetables rather than PCs.
Two suspects were arrested in Pulawy, Poland, while attempting to withdraw fraudulently obtained cash from an ATM. Anonymous pre-paid cards, cars, laptops and mobile phones were later seized.
eBay helps catch fraudsters
The operation was carried out by Europol’s European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) and Polish authorities. eBay also supported the case from its Dublin base by helping police trace criminal online activity with live monitoring systems.
“This successful case is a perfect example of very effective cooperation between eBay, the Polish National Police and the EC3 in a crime that affected victims from more than 15 countries on three continents. By working together, sharing information and coordinating this investigation in multiple jurisdictions we have proven that the criminals might be able to run but they can’t hide,” said said Troels Oerting, head of the EC3.
Together with eBay and other companies operating online, and the hard-working cyber crime experts in the EU Member States and abroad, we will continue to optimise our investigative methods and put more criminals behind bars.”
Meanwhile, the head of Europol, Rob Wainwright, has called for police to be given additional powers to counter cyber crime. Speaking in The Hague, he warned about the use of virtual currencies.
“We’re seeing that virtual currencies are being used as an instrument to facilitate crime, particularly in regard to the laundering of illicit profits,” he said, according to a Reuters report.
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