Europol Busts International Call Center Investment Scam Operation

Colin Thierry
Colin Thierry Writer
Colin Thierry Colin Thierry Writer

Europol announced on Tuesday the arrest of 108 people suspected of being involved in an international call center operation that deceived victims into investment scams.

The operation was conducted along with law enforcement from Lithuania and Latvia. They coordinated raids between March 24 and 25, on three locations belonging to the same crime group.

According to the Europol announcement, the crime group directed an army of 200 fraudulent traders who spoke English, Russian, Polish, and Hindi, calling and presenting prospective victims with fake investment opportunities in cryptocurrency, commodities, and foreign currencies.

The amount of money stolen from individuals is estimated to be at least €3,000,000 per month ($3,323,835).

During their coordinated police raids, European law enforcement seized cash, luxury vehicles, €95,000 (around $105,246) in cryptocurrencies, and identified and froze bank accounts. 80 people were detained in Latvia, while 28 were detained in Lithuania.

Additionally, Europol released a video compilation of the raids, displaying the office spaces where the scam call centers were located.

In January, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a report showing that at least 95,000 Americans have fallen victim to social media fraud in 2021, losing around $770,000,000 in total.

Another report focusing on UK consumers had estimated the financial damage of investment scams in 2020 to be €160,400,000 ($177,712,774) in the country and €426,000,000 ($471,933,450) when including e-commerce and online fraud.

The FBI and SEC also warned in July 2021 that people should look for certain red flags when agents present them with investment opportunities that seem very profitable.

These red flags include promises of high investment returns, usually accompanied by a guarantee of no risk, along with unusual payment methods like credit cards, wire transfers, and cryptocurrencies.

About the Author

About the Author

Colin Thierry is a former cybersecurity researcher and journalist for SafetyDetectives who has written a wide variety of content for the web over the past 2 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, watching sports, and playing video games.