25 November 2022
3 min read
From Thursday 24 November 2022, the Metropolitan Police have announced the deployment of a large-scale fraud operation, which resulted in significant arrests linked to an international spoofing website that targeted 200,000 people in the UK alone.
‘Spoofing’ is when criminals try to steal personal information by making it look like they’re contacting you from a trusted organisation, such as a bank or building society.
Operation Elaborate focused on dismantling the website ispoof.cc in a world-wide operation, which began in June 2021.
The website was created in December 2020 and had 51,000 user accounts. So far around 85 people have been arrested.
From July 2021 to August 2022 around 10 million fraudulent calls were made globally via iSpoof; with around 3.5 million of those calls made in the UK.
The Metropolitan Police have revealed more than 70,000 UK mobile numbers that have been contacted via iSpoof, which have been linked to one of the identified suspects.
Following the announcement of Operation Elaborate, the Metropolitan Police will be reaching out to the 70,000 numbers contacted by iSpoof by text message, on the 24 and 25 November. The text message from Metropolitan Police will urge the people contacted by iSpoof to visit the Metropolitan Police website for further information, and ask them to report any other suspected fraudulent activity to them online.
Please note: this text message will not include any links for you to click on, nor will it include a telephone number for you to ring.
If you have received the text message mentioned above from the Metropolitan Police, you can find more information on the Operation Elaborate website: Operation Elaborate | Metropolitan Police
Please stay vigilant. Unfortunately, news of the approach from the Metropolitan Police and the details of Operation Elaborate will also prompt opportunistic criminals to contact consumers and take advantage of this situation. They may do this by calling you pretending to be the Police, Action Fraud, or the Bank, and ask you to divulge banking security details. They may also try to persuade you to call fake phone numbers or visit counterfeit websites, where they can attempt to steal personal information and bank log in information. If you’re contacted in this way— stop. It’s a scam.
For more advice and information please read our recent article: Impersonation Scams | Common Fraud Threats | The Co-operative Bank
If you think you may have been a victim of the ispoof.cc scam, or any other type of fraud please contact us.
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