The Judiciary Police, through the National Unit for Combating Cybercrime and Technological Crime (UNC3T), detained six people suspected of crimes of computer fraud, money laundering and criminal association in Sintra. The suspects include five men and one woman between the ages of 21 and 52.
According to PJ, the investigation began in late 2018, after several cases of “Skimming” were identified, a practice where ATMs are modified to steal the information on victims' cards, and there were suspicions that who was behind the crime it would be an organized group.
The investigation found that the suspect group was also involved in fraud associated with purchases on e-commerce platforms through stolen credit card data. PJ estimates that the amount of fraud has reached 28,000 euros for Skimming activity, and 270,000 euros for fraud involving "cloned" card information, totaling 298,000 euros.
The house searches carried out confirmed the suspicions of the PJ, and were seized several objects related to criminal practice. These included magnetic stripe skimmers, counterfeit bank cards, computer and communications devices, card data, as well as items purchased in the illicit manner described, the authorities said. Detainees shall be subjected to judicial interrogation and await the application of appropriate enforcement measures.
It is recalled that at the end of 2019, PJ and UNC3T detained three suspects of computer fraud, illegitimate access and money laundering. Investigation of the case also began in 2018 following complaints about the misuse of bank card data, with subsequent fraudulent use to purchase goods and services. According to the authorities, various card data from foreign banking institutions were used and identified, as well as the use of false identities used to register on online gaming platforms.