The Israel Police, working with German authorities, has arrested multiple suspects in a massive online fraud scheme, according to an official announcement on Tuesday.
The suspects are believed to have facilitated fraudulent activities worth tens of millions of Euros for hundreds of forex offices worldwide, with criminal organizations in Israel and other countries benefiting from their illicit gains.
During a coordinated raid involving investigators and detectives from various agencies, six suspects were apprehended and numerous others were detained for questioning. The detained individuals are set to appear in court for a hearing regarding the extension of their detention.
The investigation revealed that the suspects had been providing the infrastructure for fraudulent activities within the forex industry, primarily through online trading platforms. Criminal organizations operating in Israel and abroad exploited these infrastructures to defraud victims globally.
Police said that the suspects, posing as financial traders dealing in cryptocurrencies and forex, targeted individuals worldwide through call centers located in various countries, including Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kosovo and Israel.
Victims were lured in with promises of high profits and instructed to transfer funds to the suspects’ accounts. They were assured that their investments would be used for trading purposes. However, the investigation has uncovered that the suspects used these funds for their own gain, deceiving victims and causing substantial financial losses.
Furthermore, the suspects transferred the victims’ funds to bank accounts in different countries, including Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary. These accounts were often associated with shell companies, financial agents, or payment service providers, making it challenging to trace the illicit money flow.
The investigation, with assistance from the Chief Cybercrime Prosecutor’s Office of the State of Bavaria in Germany, identified five groups that had been operating fraudulent platforms since 2018. Hundreds of victim testimonies have been collected, shedding light on the extensive scale of the crimes committed.
The foreign exchange market is a decentralized market for trading national currencies.
Common online forex scams include fraud, false advertising, selling software that purportedly helps customers generate large profits, Ponzi schemes and “churning,” in which a broker executes trades for the sake of generating a commission.