17:01 31.03.2021

Hundreds of merchants become victims of fraud organized by criminals from jail – SBU

3 min read
Hundreds of merchants become victims of fraud organized by criminals from jail – SBU

The State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) cyber specialists exposed an organized group that was stealing money from citizens for unauthorized interference in the electronic system of a private postal operator.

"According to preliminary data, the attackers deceived several hundred merchants for a total of more than UAH 1 million [...] According to operational information, the cybercriminals transferred part of the funds through electronic systems to the needs of organized criminal groups from Russia," head of the press center of the SBU in Kharkiv region Vladyslav Abdula said.

According to the service, the scheme was organized by two criminals who are serving their sentences in one of the prison colonies in Sumy region. They involved several former convicts and their relatives in illegal activities.

According to the investigation, the members of the group ordered consumer goods from entrepreneurs on behalf of fictitious persons. Delivery had to take place through a private postal operator with payment upon receipt of the parcel. Then the scammers called the sellers, posing as postal workers, and, posing as a client who wants to place an order delivery, squeezed them out of the access codes to their personal accounts in the operator's electronic application. After receiving the codes, the members of the group "tied" their bank card numbers to electronic accounts and appropriated a part of the money that came from the sales.

As part of the criminal proceedings, law enforcement officers conducted 24 searches at the place of residence and at the place of serving the sentence of the defendants in Kharkiv and Sumy, during which communication means, computer equipment and bank cards with evidence of illegal activity were revealed.

According to the press service of Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor's Office, two men and their accomplice were informed of suspicion under Part 3 of Article 28 and Part 2 of Article 361 (unauthorized interference in the operation of computers, automated systems, computer networks or telecommunication networks, committed by an organized group) and Part 4 of Article 190 (fraud committed by an organized group) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Investigative and operational actions are continuing to identify all persons involved in the transaction.

The operation to expose the fraud was conducted by the Office of the SBU in Kharkiv region together with the cyber police and investigators of the National Police under the procedural guidance of the regional prosecutor's office and with the support of the North-Eastern Interregional Department for the Execution of Criminal Sentences of the Justice Ministry of Ukraine.

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