On October 12, 2021, the police arrested a 17-year-old boy from Amsterdam on suspicion of phishing. The police report on its website that the suspect posed as WonigNet, among other things. The phishing criminal has probably defrauded dozens of people in the Netherlands in recent months. He would have defrauded the victims for at least 20,000 euros.
How did the suspect proceed?
The suspect sent messages to home seekers urgently requesting them to renew their WoningNet account. The victims thought the message came from housing corporation WoningNet. Phishing messages are often indistinguishable from the real thing. The messages really seem to come from an official body. In reality, the sender is a scammer.
The suspect was able to put pressure on the victims with the help of text messages. He acted on their feelings and lured the victims through a link to a fake site. He was able to steal a lot of money through this phishing link. An investigation by ING revealed 42 cases of fraud. The total gross damage amounted to more than €19,000. Another €13,000 worth of attempts could be blocked by the bank in time.
Caught in the act
All fraud cases could be traced back to a home in Amsterdam. Inquiries at other banks revealed that more than 100 other cases of fraud could be traced back to this home. The police indicate that dozens of phishing sites were operated from the address.
The police arrested the 17-year-old suspect in this house on 12 October. The suspect was caught red-handed when police raided the home. After searching the house, the police seized a lot of cash, several laptops, telephones and luxury goods. The suspect is currently in custody for further questioning. More arrests are not excluded.
Preventing phishing scams
Phishing via Whatsapp is becoming more and more common. Criminals are constantly inventing new ways to defraud victims. They also respond to current themes such as the housing shortage. The police advise never to respond to e-mails or apps with requests for personal login codes or PIN codes. Never click on payment requests that you receive from strangers.
If you have received a suspicious message that you are unsure about, please contact the company or agency.
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