By Burak Bir
ANKARA (AA) - More than 100 suspects have been arrested in the UK’s “biggest ever” fraud operation, police said on Thursday.
The action was taken against the iSpoof fraud website, a police statement said, adding that more than 200,000 potential victims in the UK were directly targeted through the website.
"At one stage, almost 20 people every minute of the day were being contacted by scammers hiding behind false identities using the site," the statement said.
It added that Scotland Yard’s Cyber Crime Unit worked with international law enforcement, including authorities in the US and Ukraine, to dismantle the website this week.
"iSpoof enabled criminals to appear as if they were calling from banks, tax offices and other official bodies as they attempted to defraud victims ... Victims are believed to have lost tens of millions of pounds while those behind the site earned almost £3.2 million ($3.8 million) in one 20 month period," the police said.
Helen Rance, who leads on cybercrime for the Met, said that by taking down the fraud platform they have prevented further offenses and stopped fraudsters from targeting future victims.
Meanwhile, Europol said that a total of 142 suspects have been arrested during operations against the criminal website by judicial and law enforcement authorities in Europe, Australia, the US, Ukraine, and Canada.
"The website is believed to have caused an estimated worldwide loss in excess of £100 million," it added.