back to article International cops arrest hundreds of fraudsters, money launderers and cocaine kingpins

Europol has arrested hundreds of fraudsters, money launderers and cocaine kingpins, and shut down thousands of websites selling pirated and counterfeit products in a series of raids over the past month. As of Cyber Monday, law enforcement agencies had taken down 12,526 websites, disconnected 32 servers used to distribute and …

  1. Lil Endian Silver badge

    A spoofing website called iSpoof

    Subtle guys, really subtle. So, how did the rozzers find you?

    The lights are on but nobody's home.

    #I got 2294 channels of shit on the T.V. to choose from#

    13 was enough. <3 Syd

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge

    A safety measure

    "At one point, nearly 20 people every minute were contacted by scammers using iSpoof, according to police."

    Whenever I get an unsolicited call from any organisation where the caller asks me to identify myself, I respond "You made the call, so first you prove to me you're not a fraudster". Most fail to do so, even the legitimate ones as they've not been trained to do so. To me it's bananas to assume an unexpected caller you don't immediately recognise is genuine.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: A safety measure

      As far as I can make out, the management for legitimate callers are unaware that they need to authenticate themselves to their customers. I currently expect scammers to be quicker off the mark getting this sorted than my bank.

      It would be nice if banks offered different levels of protection according to customer choice: either quick and convenient with the bonus of funding criminals or requires an effort on the part of the customer to do anything but with less money sent to criminals. The obvious problem is that the bank will switch your account preferences when requested to do so by a scammer - first to easy to take control then to hard so you cannot get control back.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Depends on the bank you work with.

        For my professional needs I have a bank in Luxembourg, the BCEE. The BCEE never sends me mail, I have a mail icon on my screen when I connect to my account via their secure website (secured by the traditional login name + password and a one time token) if a message is waiting for me.

        To make any important change to my account, I have to physically present myself in one of the many branches, justify my identity and then ask for what I need.

        I very much doubt that any criminal is going to be able to modify anything remotely.

        Of course, if you live in the USA, things are very much different.

        1. lglethal Silver badge

          Wait, wait, wait... Your bank has physical branches??? And "one of many"!?!?! You mean there is more than 1 branch per 1000km²??? And let me just be clear here, they are not hidden in the cellar, with no lights, and no stairs, in a disused lavatory, behind a sign saying "Beware of the Leopard"?

          No sorry, that doesnt sound like any bank I'm familiar with...

          1. Lil Endian Silver badge


            If it was anyone other than our learned colleague Pascal I'd think it was a lie fer sure!

            Thanks for the BOFH styling. I needed a fix! (C'mon Simon! *twitch twitch*)

          2. UrethralAnts

            Its a Luxembourgish bank, there's more than a third of a Luxembourg per 1000km2...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Your bank has physical branches???"

            The key here is "in Luxembourg".... there are places in this world where there are more banks than bars... (I live nearby the Swiss border...)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I too have my accounts restricted to in person banking only. No internet access to my account at all.

          I have my CC, and cash, so I don't see the point in internet banking, not after working my life for it and knowing people get cleaned out every day.

    2. Lil Endian Silver badge

      Re: A safety measure


      It's correct to do this. A call from HMRC was sweet! I could feel the fumes coming thru the phone.

      "I'd like to take you through some security questions..." Erm, no I'd like to take you through some security questions...

      Made my day!

      [Edit: I think that most legit orgs have actually cottoned on to this, and they are better at this now.]

      1. TDog

        Re: A safety measure

        One of my favourite questions is

        "Tell me characters 13 and 57 of the security pass phrase I posted to your bank" *

        * Your numbers may vary.

    3. GBE

      Re: A safety measure

      Whenever I get an unsolicited call from any organisation where the caller asks me to identify myself, I respond "You made the call, so first you prove to me you're not a fraudster".

      A few years ago, I got a phone call from one of the large US discount broker and mutual fund companies where I had an account. The caller said something needed to be done with my account and they needed my authorization. She had asked for me by name, then asked me to confirm my identity by giving her my birthday, account number, social security number, etc. I said, "No thanks, put a note on my account and I'll call back on the toll-free customer service line". She said that would work just fine. I then asked how often people whom they call like this provide the requested info. She said "always". I was the first person she had ever called who didn't cough up all the requested info.

    4. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: A safety measure

      Indeed, quite. I turned the tables on HSBC (way back when I still banked with that lot) asking exactly that... The customer service person apparently thought that the call coming from their 0800 number was enough identification. I quickly disabused them of that notion.

    5. Ghostman

      Re: A safety measure

      Here in the US of A, we get phone calls that sometimes come from familiar numbers,but aren't who you wish to talk to. My son actually answered a call that said it was coming from the cell phone in his hands.

      I love getting the calls about my "vehicle warranty". Call come on with the recorded hook, "our agent has the paperwork concerning your car and will speak with you shortly". You hold a few seconds and you hear, "Please give me the make and model of your car, please."

      Didn't I just hear hat you have the paperwork on your desk concerning my car? "Yes, i do. I just need to confirm some information about your car."

      Which one? "Huh?" Which car? Is it a truck, sedan, van, SUV, or a semi-truck? "Which one needs the warranty?" Look on your paperwork and tell me which one you think needs it? "LOOK, I just need to get some information on the vehicle that needs the warranty!" I'm trying to help you, but getting loud with me is not helping you cover my vehicle. So, which vehicle are you calling about?

      I've been referred to "managers" 'supervisors" and "bosses" and just keep asking the same thing. I've also tied them up for as much as a half hour.

      We now get the infamous "V" calls (VOIP). When I see that, I answer, "Please leave your full name, the name and address of the company you work for, the company phone number with your extension number, your home address and phone number, the last 4 digits of your Social Security number, and your mothers' maiden name."

      Just something to do to spend part of my day since I retired.

      1. Ace2 Silver badge

        Re: A safety measure

        I asked them for an extended warranty on my 1972 Ford Pinto hatchback. Phone rep wasn’t bothered in the least.

        Most of the drivers of that scam are in jail now. I haven’t gotten one in ages.

  3. NiceCuppaTea


    So as much as its a good thing that they cuaght some bastards, will it make any difference?

    Im not saying dont bother trying but at this point in human evolution isnt it just banging your head againast an ever growing brick wall?

    Shouldnt we by now be looking at the reason for crime and trying to tackle that instead? Its not like crime is without any sort of effort, yes the rewards to effort ratio are higher, but why do some people turn to illicit means of making a living while most of us slave away at the grindstone for 50 years to end up with a pokey house and some ungrateful grand/kids that never visit?

    Dont look to this post for any answers or even suggestions just questions and a statement that the world and they way we all live is broken.

    1. Lil Endian Silver badge

      Re: Results...

      Some people are just wired to abuse others. It's horrible, but will be forever that way.

      (The apostrophe key's right there. Just saying!)

  4. MiguelC Silver badge

    I just love telemarketters

    "Hello, I'm speaking to Mr?..."

    "Yes, you are speaking to Mr."

    "Erm, hmm, could you please tell me your name?"

    "You called me, you must know who I am, right?"

    not much to go on from there....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    unnecessary US centric headline

    The article is written with Euro values then dollar conversion, but the headline is in dollars.

    And given the Euro value is probably referring to an approximate value - 150K, then giving dollar value as 155K unless referring to a direct quote may be overprecise anyway.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: unnecessary US centric headline

      The Register - letting no pointless USAification go unpublished.

  6. katrinab Silver badge

    Is "fancy house" the new "flat screen television"?

    "In this specific case, the prime suspect was earning [they most likely mean gross turnover before expenses] up to [i.e. less than] Є150,000 ($155,000) a month, living in a fancy house, driving expensive cars and "embarking on extravagant vacations all over the world," we're told."

    For a retail business, gross takings of less than €150,000 really isn't a lot of money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is "fancy house" the new "flat screen television"?

      A legitimate business has far higher costs...

    2. Ace2 Silver badge

      Re: Is "fancy house" the new "flat screen television"?

      Blowing it on vacations is the smartest thing you could do - they can’t seize them when you get caught.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They raided an investment bank?

    "hundreds of fraudsters, money launderers and cocaine kingpins"

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