Hundreds of thousands of victims in the UK were allegedly directly targeted through the site, allowing scammers to impersonate representatives of various banks, including Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Natwest, Nationwide and TSB.
Over 12 months, 10 million calls were made worldwide – 3.5 million of which were in the UK.
At one point, nearly 20 people a day were being contacted by scammers using iSpoof.
The Met is now actively contacting more than 70,000 numbers contacted by an identified suspect via iSpoof, encouraging them to visit the Met website to report losses and get more information.
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The Metropolitan Police’s Cyber and Economic Crime Unit worked with colleagues from Europol, Eurojust, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Dutch authorities.
Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran said: “As cybercrime knows no borders, effective judicial cooperation between jurisdictions is crucial to bring the perpetrators to justice. Eurojust supports national authorities in their efforts to protect citizens against online and offline threats and to ensure that justice is done.”
In 20 months, those behind the site are said to have made nearly £3.2 million, with the average loss of those who reported being targeted being a staggering £10,000.
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said: “The exploitation of technology by organized criminals is one of the greatest challenges facing law enforcement in the 21st century.
“With the support of partners within the UK Police and internationally, we are reinventing the way fraud is investigated. The Met focuses on the criminals at the center of these illegal networks that cause thousands of mischief.
“By taking away the tools and systems that have enabled fraudsters to defraud innocent people on a massive scale, this operation demonstrates our determination to crack down on corrupt individuals who often seek to exploit vulnerable victims.”
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Action Fraud reports losses associated with the fraud service as around £48 million.
However, because fraud often goes unreported, it is believed that the figure could be much higher.
The Met began investigating iSpoof in 2021, after the site was created in December 2020 and had 59,000 accounts.
iSpoof’s users paid for their services in bitcoin, records of which were retrieved from the website’s server, along with what has been described as a “treasure trove” of information consisting of 70 million rows of data.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, the Met advises that you contact your bank immediately and report the incident to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk.