We recently reported on a new EU law that is intended to expand EUROPOL’s powers. Particularly in the area of data collection and analysis, it is hoped that this will give the European community police new opportunities to fight crime. The international counterpart in the form of Interpol is not idle either. Indeed, the “world police” succeeded in striking a comprehensive blow against globally operating fraud gangs. In the focus of the police officers were so-called “scammers”.
Scammers in their sights
Even today, it is still exceedingly difficult to get hold of a Playstation 5. The game console, which was launched a year and a half ago, is still in short supply. Even at Amazon it can currently only be bought by invitation. Anyone who has bought a PlayStation 5 or is still waiting for the same has certainly already been confronted with the concept of scammers. These buy gigantic quantities on the market, in order to sell them afterwards profitably. The scammers, who often operate in a gang structure, use modern bot technology that makes it almost impossible for normal consumers to keep up. This still relatively new form of crime has now been targeted by Interpol. After all, the business flourished during the Corona crisis and beyond.
Disrupted supply chains and semiconductor shortages created bottlenecks in many industries. The international police seem to have produced presentable results in their operation. Not only are there said to have been 2,000 arrests. On top of that, the authorities say that items worth 50 million US dollars were confiscated. These figures are no coincidence and can be seen as a comprehensive investigative success. After all, this was a gigantic operation in which not only 1770 premises were raided. On top of that, Interpol froze 4000 bank accounts and was able to identify 3000 people as suspects.
Operation “First Light”
Interpol speaks of how its operation called “First Light” took two months of work. In the process, the police agency again played to its greatest strength – international cooperation. Police forces from 76 different countries are said to have been involved. The range of perpetrators is correspondingly diverse. From classic marriage swindlers to fraud via call centers, pretty much all areas of fraud were covered. In addition to fake kidnapping, faked job offers and investment fraud, a popular approach currently adopted by criminals worldwide seems to be faking status as an Interpol officer. In these cases, the perpetrators claim that the victims are targeted by the manhunt. In order to escape this, they would have to pay a hefty fine.