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Russian teen worked for Ukrainian scammers – police

A tech-savvy 16-year-old was arrested for allegedly helping foreign criminals defraud his fellow citizens

Russian law enforcement has caught a teenager in St. Petersburg who was allegedly part of a Ukraine-based cold calling scam, officials reported on Thursday.

The racketeers operated several call centers which would swindle victims out of money, an Interior Ministry statement said. The 16-year-old Russian’s job, they allege, was to relay the calls in a way that made them appear to be originating from his home country.

The suspected fraudster was reportedly using four GSM Gateway devices that can tap into a regular mobile network, thousands of SIM-cards, and a notebook to manage the equipment.

He allegedly moved to a new rented apartment every week and took other measures to cover his tracks. All instructions to the teen came from Ukraine, the press release claimed, adding that he received his share of the ring’s illicit profit every month via crypto-currency.

The police have released footage of the raid in which the suspect was apprehended. He has reportedly led investigators to two possible accomplices who had similar jobs. One of them was also allegedly responsible for procuring new SIM cards from Moscow.

READ MORE: Canadians are ‘target No.1’ for Ukrainian scammers – media

Financial scams constitute a major part of the Ukrainian criminal underworld; their prevalence was highlighted last week by Canadian media. According to the CBC/Radio Canada report, people from Canada are “easy prey” for the remotely-operating con artists.

A single Ukrainian call-center may employ over a hundred people seeking to lure Canadians into parting with their life savings through get-rich-quick schemes and crypto sales, the report warned.

March 15, 2024 at 07:45PM

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