Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) announced the arrest of 60 people in a sweeping eCommerce fraud probe. EC3 is the arm of Europol charged with investigating cybercrimes in the European Union (EU). The arrests came as part of a joint operation that took place between September 23rd and October 4th, and included cooperation from 19 different countries.
In a post on its website EC3 stated that the operation ended with the arrest of individuals suspected of prosecuting 6,500 fraudulent credit card transactions valued at over €5 million.
The e-Commerce Action coordinated by @EC3Europol strikes again: eComm 2019 brought together authorities from 19 countries. 60 scammers responsible for almost 6 500 fraudulent transactions with compromised credit cards. #BuySafePaySafe
Read about it here: https://t.co/rWHMpso5S0
— Europol (@Europol) October 30, 2019
In addition to the removal of such a large number of highly active and dangers fraudsters, EC3 also highlighted another success of the operation: cooperation. A number of public and private actors collaborated on the probe, making it an effort that spanned not only national borders, but also industry and corporate borders as well.
“Europol supported national competent authorities during the operations in their respective countries with analytical support and information exchange. In order to protect customers from fraudulent payments and assure a safe online environment, Europol also collaborated with banks, payment card schemes European retailers and logistics companies,” the post said. “The private sector supported the action cooperating with national law enforcement authorities, by reporting fraudulent activity. This collaboration between law enforcement and the private sector has proven beneficial and led to the development of best practices.”
The post also discussed the importance of the new PSD2 directive. This mandate requires companies doing business either within the EU or with EU citizens to adhere to new rules for identity verification for online payments. EC3s hope is that the new stringencies will decrease incidents of identity theft and credit card fraud.
Finally, the post discussed the EC3s #BuySafePaySafe initiative, designed to educate consumers on how navigate their online purchases. It provides advice and best practices for how to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft including ensuring an ensure internet connection and monitoring accounts for suspicious or unknown activity/behavior.