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US authorities seize iSpoof, a call spoofing site that stole millions • TechCrunch


An international police operation has taken down an online identity theft service that allowed cybercriminals to impersonate trusted companies to steal more than $120 million from victims.

iSpoof, which now displays a message that it has been seized by the FBI and the US Secret Service, offered ‘spoofing’ services that allowed paid users to mask their phone numbers with a number belonging to a trusted organization , such as banks and tax offices, to carry out social engineering attacks.

“The website’s services enabled those who register and pay for the service to anonymously make spoofed calls, send recorded messages and intercept one-time passwords,” Europol said in a statement. statement Thursday. “Users were able to impersonate an infinite number of entities for financial gain and substantial loss to victims.”

London’s Metropolitan Police, which began investigating iSpoof in June 2021 with international law enforcement agencies in the US, the Netherlands and Ukraine, said they had arrested the administrator. website suspect named Teejai Fletcher, 34, charged with fraud and organized crime offences. Fletcher has been taken into police custody and will appear at Southwark Crown Court in London on December 6.

iSpoof had around 59,000 users, causing £48m in losses to 200,000 identified victims in the UK, according to Met Police. One victim was scammed out of £3million, while the average amount stolen was £10,000.

Europol says operators of the service have made an estimated $3.8 million in profits in the past 16 months alone.

The Metropolitan Police said they also used bitcoin payment records found on the site’s server to identify and arrest 100 other UK-based users of the iSpoof service. The site’s infrastructure, which was hosted in the Netherlands but moved to Kyiv earlier in 2022, was seized and taken offline in a joint Ukrainian-American operation earlier this month.

Police have a list of phone numbers targeted by iSpoof fraudsters and will contact potential victims by text message Thursday and Friday. The text message will ask victims to visit the Met’s website to help it build more cases.

Helen Rance of the Metropolitan Police’s Cybercrime Unit said: “Instead of just taking down the website and arresting the admin, we went after iSpoof users. Our message to criminals who have used this website is: we have your contact details and we are working hard to locate you, wherever you are. »


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