Feeds

Spain cuffs Wi-Fi leeching lottery scammers

El Gordo ladrones

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Spanish police have arrested ten Nigerians suspected of running a spam-fuelled lottery scam that raked in €19,000 ($28,000) in illicit earnings over three months.

Investigators say the gang, based in Malaga in southern Spain, piggybacked the wireless internet access of a neighbour to pump out false claims that recipients had hit it lucky with lottery wins. To get their "winnings", recipients were told that must first pay "processing fees" up-front. Victims, at least some of whom live outside Spain, were asked to cough up €1,250 or more, according to local reports (in Spanish).

Seven arrests were made in Malaga, and three in Huelva province, southwestern Spain. Police recovered €15,500 in cash, bank documents and forged letterheads, in an operation codenamed "Irán". The name was inspired by an Iranian who sparked the investigation last year, by complaining that he had been defrauded.

The gang claimed to represent "El Gordo Español loteria". Lotteries are a national institution in Spain, with the Spanish Christmas Lottery (El Gordo de Navidad) among the richest lotteries of the world, in terms of total payout. It seems unlikely that locals would be taken in by a ruse based on a fictional firm.

In recent years, Malaga has become a focus of criminal investigation into lottery scams. Three years ago 310 people were arrested in Malaga, following an joint investigation by the FBI and Spanish police into the biggest ever bust of a lottery scam gang. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.