Feeds

Spain cuffs Wi-Fi leeching lottery scammers

El Gordo ladrones

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.