European Authorities Disrupt €2.5 Million Vishing Fraud Ring, Arresting 54 Suspects

Posted on: 03 Jul 2024 | Author: Foresiet

In a significant crackdown, Spanish and Portuguese police have arrested 54 individuals linked to a widespread vishing fraud operation that has defrauded victims of €2.5 million ($2.7 million).

Coordinated Operation Leads to Arrests

On June 4, a collaborative effort involving the Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional), the Mossos d’Esquadra, and the Portuguese Judicial Police (Policía Judiciária) led to the apprehension of suspects. According to Europol, the operation targeted 19 properties, with one suspect apprehended while actively engaged in fraudulent activities, having a victim's bank details visible on his computer screen.

Seized Items and Tactics

During the raids, authorities confiscated computers, laptops, mobile phones, SIM cards, and even drugs such as cannabis and cocaine. The gang's primary targets were senior citizens in Spain, utilizing a combination of vishing and face-to-face social engineering techniques.

Modus Operandi of the Gang

The fraudsters would initiate contact by calling victims, posing as bank employees, and claiming issues with their accounts. This ruse allowed them to gather enough information to facilitate further fraud. Subsequently, other gang members would visit the victims' homes unannounced, pressuring them to hand over their bank cards, details, and PINs. The stolen information was then used to withdraw cash or make expensive purchases, draining the victims' accounts.

In extreme cases, the gang members forcibly entered victims' homes to steal cash and valuables. The stolen funds were laundered through a network of money mules and deposited in Spanish and Portuguese bank accounts.

Police Surveillance and Preemptive Action

Authorities monitored the gang's communications and discovered plans to use "severe violence" if necessary. This intelligence prompted an expedited operation to apprehend the suspects and prevent further harm.

The Rise of Vishing and TOAD Techniques

Vishing, or voice phishing, is becoming increasingly popular among cybercriminals as people become more cautious of text-based scams. One prevalent method is telephone-oriented attack delivery (TOAD), where victims receive phishing messages with a "customer service" phone number. When victims call this number, they are socially engineered into revealing personal details or enabling remote access to their devices.

Previous Vishing Incidents

Last year, a major vishing operation in Ukraine and Czechia was dismantled, costing Czech victims alone around €8 million ($8.6 million). This underscores the growing threat of vishing and the need for robust security measures.

Protecting Against Vishing Attacks

The disruption of this vishing gang highlights the importance of stolen credentials detection, darknet monitoring services, and dark web surveillance to protect sensitive information. Implementing compromised data tracking, digital footprint analysis, and brand protection strategies can help mitigate these risks. Additionally, brand impersonation defense, online risk evaluation, and digital threat scoring are crucial components of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.


As vishing continues to evolve, staying informed about emerging threats and implementing proactive security measures is essential for individuals and organizations. By leveraging advanced cybersecurity solutions and maintaining vigilance, we can better defend against the growing landscape of cyber threats.

About Foresiet!

Foresiet is the pioneering force in digital security solutions, offering the first integrated Digital Risk Protection SaaS platform. With 24x7x365 dark web monitoring and proactive threat intelligence, Foresiet safeguards against data breaches and intellectual property theft. Our robust suite includes brand protection, takedown services, and supply chain assessment, enhancing your organization's defense mechanisms. Attack surface management is a key component of our approach, ensuring comprehensive protection across all vulnerable points. Compliance is assured through adherence to ISO27001, NIST, GDPR, PCI, SOX, HIPAA, SAMA, CITC, and Third Party regulations. Additionally, our advanced antiphishing shield provides unparalleled protection against malicious emails. Trust Foresiet to empower your organization to navigate the digital landscape securely and confidently.

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