Four men and two women suspected of having taken part in a sophisticated phishing scam that targeted hundreds of UK students were arrested by the Met’s Police Central e-Crime Unit on Thursday.
“PCeU investigators were alerted to the scam in August 2011, and discovered that a criminal network were targeting students through Government loan schemes by sending out emails inviting unsuspecting individuals to update details on their student loan account via a link to a convincing but bogus website,” states the press release.
The websites were soon taken down, but not before a considerable number of students shared their loan account details. Armed with the information, the gang accessed the victims’ bank accounts and stole sums of money that occasionally reached £5,000 from them. All in all, it is believed that they managed to get their hands on more than £1 million.
The suspects were arrested following a series of raids on properties in London, Manchester and Bolton. During the raids, the police officers confiscated a number of computers and storage media that will be searched by forensic experts for evidence.
The six suspects will likely be charged with conspiracy to defraud and Computer Misuse Act and money laundering offenses.