Police made eight arrests following a series of morning operations targeting people suspected of sending “smishing” texts.
These fraudulent messages aim to steal people’s personal and financial details by directing recipients to bogus versions of websites of trusted organizations, such as Royal Mail.
The arrests were part of a week of action led by officers from the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a specialist police unit in the City of London and the Metropolis funded by the banking and card industry , in partnership with Royal Mail and the telecommunications industry. . Eight operations were carried out across London, Coventry, Birmingham and Colchester, which resulted in the arrest of eight men suspected of fraud.
The suspects arrested in the course of the operations are believed to have been implicated in sending fraudulent texts mainly posing as Royal Mail, which claim that the recipient has to pay unpaid postage for a package or enter their details to rearrange a delivery .
During the searches, valuable information was collected and several devices suspected of being used in smishing scams were seized. The unit also recovered the financial data of many customers, helping to protect these bank accounts. Seven of those arrested were released under investigation, with one suspect charged and remanded in custody before his court appearance. The ongoing investigations are expected to lead to further arrests and charges.
Chief Detective Inspector Gary Robinson, Head of the Dedicated Cards and Payment Crimes Unit (DCPCU), commented:
The success of these operations shows how, through our close collaboration with Royal Mail, the financial services industry and mobile phone networks, we are cracking down on criminals who ruthlessly target the public.
“Ongoing investigations are currently underway and we will continue to work together to bring the perpetrators to justice.