UK’s biggest ever fraud operation leaves 59,000 victims behind

The Metropolitan Police recently led the biggest fraud operation in the UK so far, taking down the iSpoof website.

The website enabled fraudsters posing as representatives of banks such as Lloyds, Barclays and Natwest and other well known companies to contact unsuspecting victims for monetary gain.

The iSpoof system meant that users could disguise their phone numbers so it appeared that calls were genuine – a process known as ‘spoofing’.

It is thought that over 200,000 people in the UK were contacted through iSpoof.

So far, more than 100 people have been arrested in connection with the police operation.

Reported financial losses as a result of iSpoof total to £48 million but, as fraud is often not reported, the full impact of the iSpoof operation is unknown.

Cyber crime lead, Detective Superintendent Helen Rance, commented: “By taking down iSpoof we have prevented further offences and stopped fraudsters targeting future victims.”

One of the challenges for the prosecuting authorities in these cases which is similar to that faced in EncroChat prosecutions, will be the need to attribute actions taken by anonymous usernames from the iSpoof system to suspected offenders.

It is likely to involve piecing together numerous fragments of evidence to develop a narrative intended to convince the jury of the defendant’s guilt.

However, as can be the case with EncroChat prosecutions, the evidence relied upon may be largely circumstantial and open to interpretation.

It is also likely that the defence case will require the careful analysis of highly technical material to challenge the evidential connections made by the police and prosecution.

As solicitors experienced in defending EncroChat prosecutions, we understand the attribution issues which are likely to arise in iSpoof cases and what is needed to build a robust defence.

For advice on defending iSpoof prosecutions, contact us now.