Gardaí take down phone number spoofing site linked to thousands of frauds

Members of An Garda Siochána were part of a global operation to bring down ispoof.cc
Gardaí take down phone number spoofing site linked to thousands of frauds

Gardaí have helped to bring down a phone number spoofing site used by criminals to scam thousands of victims out of millions of euro.

Members of An Garda Siochána were part of a global operation to bring down ispoof.cc, a website described by gardaí as an online fraud shop.

A series of searches in Dublin, Louth and Meath on November 8th and 9th resulted in six arrests including the execution of 14 bench warrants.

Officers also seized 132 electronic devices and identified 64 suspect bank accounts.

They worked with British and Dutch law enforcement who managed to tap the website’s servers in the Netherlands to secretly listen to phone calls.

The website and server was seized and taken offline by US and Ukrainian authorities. Photo: Europol

At one point as many as 20 people every minute were being targeted by callers globally using technology bought from the site.

Criminals, who found out about the site from adverts posted on channels on encrypted messaging app Telegram, used it to buy technology that allowed them to mask their phone number.

This meant they could trick victims into thinking they were being contacted by their bank and persuade them to pass on personal details that allowed the fraudsters to steal cash.

Of 10 million fraudulent calls made, 40 per cent were in the United States, 35 per cent were in the UK and the rest were spread across a number of countries.

The alleged site administrator Teejay Fletcher (35) was arrested in east London earlier this month and is facing criminal charges.

Police in London said Fletcher, who is alleged to be a member of an organised crime group, was living a “lavish” lifestyle.

The site is said to have made more than €3 million profit.

Ispoof was created in December 2020 and at its peak had 59,000 users, allowing them to pay for the criminal software using Bitcoin, with charges ranging from €200 to €6,000 per month.

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