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06 November 2017

INTERPOL meeting tackles social engineering fraud

LYON, France – Senior investigators from around the world gathered at INTERPOL to share intelligence on the latest social engineering fraud tactics.

With criminals using increasingly advanced techniques to trick their victims, the two-day (30 and 31 October) expert group meeting served as a platform to assess current trends and challenges in investigating cases of social engineering fraud.

Discussions during the meeting focused on targeted e-mail fraud schemes which require a high level of criminal sophistication, including business e-mail compromise and CEO impersonation fraud. Financial losses from these types of frauds can reach hundreds of thousands of euros per case.  

‘Social engineering fraud’ is a broad term that refers to diverse types of scams – including phone calls, tailored e-mails and via social media – which manipulate or trick people into making money transfers of giving out confidential or personal information which can then be used for financial gain by the criminals involved.

INTERPOL’s Operation First Light 2016, targeting a variety of social engineering frauds and related financial crimes, resulted in the arrest of 1,500 people in one two-month period alone. During the operation, Spanish police closed 13 call centres in Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante which had scammed thousands of victims in Asia out of some EUR 16 million.

Some 25 participants from 15 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as Europol and the Egmont Group, a global network of financial intelligence units, participated in the meeting.