The Frisian police has arrested a 21-year-old person from Groningen who is suspected of various cybercrime crimes, including phishing, the police wrote on Wednesday. The suspect is allegedly involved in defrauding an entrepreneur who looted 1.1 million euros in one night.
The suspect approached victims via Marktplaats or SMS and then lured them to fake websites. There, the victims were tempted to leave private data to make payments. For example, the victims thought they were paying an outstanding bill.
In this way, the Groninger took control of the online banking environment of the victims. He then withdrew money from the accounts by debit card or ordering goods online.
The suspect was extremely agile with the “full arsenal of digital scams”, police said. When the Groninger was arrested on Monday, the police found a laptop on which a ‘dashboard’ was running with all kinds of digital scams. Luxury goods were also seized, including three pairs of shoes, each worth almost a thousand euros.
Biggest smishing case ever
The suspect emerged in an investigation into defrauding an entrepreneur from the Northern Netherlands. The victim had clicked a wrong link in a text message that led him to a counterfeit banking environment. His bank account was then looted.
The victim lost 1.1 million euros in one night. That money was transferred to bank accounts of 140 money donkeys across the country. They had made their bank accounts available to channel the money away.
People are still being arrested with some regularity in this investigation, police said. Police units across the country have been given what is known as a “face book” of suspects who were filmed pinning the loot.
According to the police, this is the largest financial case ever of phishing via SMS, also called ‘smishing’. The Criminal Investigation Service does not rule out further arrests in this case.