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Police officers from Częstochowa, Poland, have broken up an organized group of fraudsters who were using the „bank code” method to scam unsuspecting victims. The investigation, under the supervision of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Katowice, has resulted in 12 individuals aged between 22 and 35 being arrested and charged with fraud. The police have also seized assets worth almost half a million złoty to cover future fines and penalties.
Since October 2022, the law enforcement officers from Częstochowa have been gathering and analyzing information about individuals who were enriching themselves at the expense of others. They uncovered an organized criminal group that had made a steady income from the „bank code” scam. The fraudsters obtained login details from users of a social media platform and then posed as them to deceive their friends. The police have identified around 100 victims from all over Poland, but they believe that there may be many more.
The scammers’ modus operandi was always the same. First, they hacked into private accounts on social media and then sent messages through a messenger app to people on the friends’ list, asking for financial support. The recipients of these messages, believing that they were helping out a friend in financial difficulty, would transfer their money, generating a bank code in the process.
All of the suspects have been charged with belonging to an organized criminal group and fraud, and they have been remanded in custody. The police have issued a warning to the public to be careful and not to trust everything they read online. They advise people to be wary of sensational headlines, such as those about child abductions or roaming criminals, and to avoid clicking on links received from unknown sources. Cybercriminals often use these tactics to trick people into giving up their login details, passwords, or other personal information.