Bany­eres com­pany loses €83,000 in CEO scam

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - News - Slid­dell@cb­news.es

By Shel­ley Liddell GUARDIA Civil have solved a cy­ber­fraud that has cost a Bany­eres de Mar­i­ola busi­ness more than €83,000.

Dur­ing the Guardia Civil op­er­a­tion, the two ring lead­ers were ar­rested in Al­cor­cón and Aran­juez, while an­other two, who re­ceived the money trans­fers, were ar­rested in Va­len­cia and El Álamo (Madrid),

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion was car­ried out by the Guardia Civil's Tech­no­log­i­cal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Unit (EDITE) based in Ali­cante, af­ter they re­ceived com­plaints from a Bañy­eres com­pany stat­ing they had been scammed.

The method used to de­fraud the com­pany is known as the 'Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer (CEO) Fraud', which is an email scam in which the fraud­sters hack the com­pany's com­puter net­work to ob­tain con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion about its clients, and to ob­tain email ad­dresses of em­ploy­ees.

Once this is done they then send an email, which looks like it’s from the boss, to an em­ployee at the com­pany.

The em­ployee will re­ceive an email from his boss ask­ing to de­posit an amount of money into a cer­tain ac­count that looks like it be­longs to one of their clients. Of course, this is done as the em­ployee does not sus­pect that some­thing is up.

The ac­counts used are never in the names of the hacker, and be­long to a third per­son who ob­tains a small com­mis­sion for the use of their ac­counts

Of­fi­cers ini­ti­ated their in­ves­ti­ga­tions look­ing into the ac­counts where the money was de­posited, which led them to a 38-year-old Colom­bian res­i­dent in Va­len­cia and a 52-year-old Spanish wo­man re­sid­ing in El Álamo.

Th­ese two peo­ple had orig­i­nally been ap­proached by the hack­ers in a bar, and later on at a gesto­ria. Both were ar­rested and ac­cused of fraud and they re­vealed the hack­ers' iden­ti­ties, say­ing that two men had con­vinced them to open bank ac­counts as they had problems with Ha­cienda and needed the ac­counts to re­ceive so­cial aid.

The money was re­moved from the ac­count al­most as soon as it was de­posited there and then handed over in per­son to the hack­ers, who turned out to be two Nige­ri­ans aged 42 and 52.

The to­tal amount ob­tained with the CEO Fraud came to €83,690. A RACE is on between Dé­nia and the re­gional govern­ment to gather up enough sand to re­pair Les Deveses beach be­fore fur­ther storms wreck it again.

The sec­tion of coast, which is ge­o­graph­i­cally in El Verger but owned by Dé­nia, has been all but swal­lowed up in the last few down­pours and, ear­lier this year, seafront home­own­ers suf­fered sub­stan­tial dam­age.

Re­fill­ing the beach with tons of sand is a reg­u­lar ex­er­cise in throw­ing good money af­ter bad, but this quick fix is the only so­lu­tion for one of the Ma­rina Alta's most eroded coasts.

Between both au­thor­i­ties, des­per­ate mea­sures are needed to find enough sand – th­ese in­clude dig­ging in Las Mari­nas seafront plots due to be built upon.

This will in­volve seek­ing per­mis­sion from own­ers and dig­ging down be­low the sur­face.

As a last re­sort, they may have to ex­ca­vate deep into the sea bed some miles off the coast, which will re­quire a full en­vi­ron­men­tal study to en­sure marine flora and fauna is not harmed.

Cen­tral govern­ment says it does not have enough money to help.

Photo Ángel Gar­cía

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