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Met Police to text 70,000 victims in UK’s biggest anti-fraud operation

Detectives from The Met Police have today began contacting 70,000 people who are suspected of being victims of a sophisticated banking scam.

The Metropolitan Police is today sending text messages to mobile users it believes spoke with suspected fraudsters who has been pretending to be their bank.

Sir Mark Rowley The Met Commissioner said an enormous endeavour has been undertaken in gathering the evidence after the discovery of an online fraud network.

During the investigation there have been more than 100 people arrested and one of those men have been charged.

The Met Police will today be sending the text message which will direct those who read it to the Action Fraud Website requesting they register their details as officers build a case against the suspected fraudsters.

Speaking today on BBC Radio 4 Sir Mark told listeners of the Today Programme that the Met would be contacting mobile numbers that were connected to the fraudsters for longer than a minute, suggesting that fraud or attempted fraud had taken place.

Police revealed that the scam happens when fraudsters call people at random pretending to be a bank and warning of suspicious activity that has occurred on there account.

Pretending to be working at banks which included Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, NatWest, Nationwide and TSB.

Once they’ve managed to get people talking they then encourage people to share their security information and, through technology, they have have accessed features such as one-time passcodes to clear our money from people’s accounts.

As many as 200,000 people in the UK may have been victims of the scam, police said, with victims losing thousands of pounds, and in one case £3m.

The 70,000 people being contacted are connected to calls made by individuals known to police, Sir Mark said, and their evidence could be used to prosecute cases.

Early in November they raided an address in east London and arrested a man alleged to be behind iSpoof.

In other raids, 120 people thought to have used the service for fraud have been taken into custody.

Det Supt Rance warned other criminal “enablers” will have taken over to provide services to fraudsters.

“Undoubtedly they will go to another website,” she said. 

A 34-year-old man, Teejai Fletcher, has been charged with making or supplying articles for use in fraud and participating in the activities of an organised crime group.

He will appear at Southwark Crown Court on 6 December.

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