Belfast Telegraph

Arrests over online banking scam

Six members of an internet crime gang suspected of stealing up to £3 million (3.6 million euro) by ripping off personal banking details have been arrested.

Police investigating a sophisticated online banking scam swooped on addresses in London and Navan, County Meath, Ireland.

Five men and one woman, aged 25 to 40, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit online banking fraud and offences under the Computer Misuse Act.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said they are being questioned at a central London police station.

The arrests followed a probe into a gang suspected of using fake websites and spam emails to obtain online passwords and credit card numbers. Police believe more than 10,000 bank accounts and a further 10,000 credit cards have been compromised.

Criminals have attempted to steal £1.1 million (1.3 million euro) by taking over online accounts and much more by abusing credit cards.

Detective Inspector Colin Wetherill, of the Metropolitan Police, said it is not yet known exactly how much has been stolen.

He said: "We have taken this action to shut down an organised criminal network running an online phishing and account take-over operation.

"A great deal of personal information was compromised and cleverly exploited for substantial profit. By disrupting the operation we have hopefully prevented further loss to individuals and institutions across the UK.

"We are working to reduce the harm caused by organised criminals operating online and to bring to justice those committing these offences. However, we all have a role to play in protecting our personal information and I would urge the public to exercise great care when supplying their personal details online and to take the advice given at www.getsafeonline.org."

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