They intercepted letters containing the new ATM cards and, tracing back to the recipient, extorted the pin and then stole as much money as they could. A huge turnover, at least of one million euros, that discovered in an investigation by the Investigation Team of the Appio Nuovo Commissariat which, with the help of the Caserta Mobile Squad and the Aversa Commissariat, today carried out three custody measures precautionary measures in prison issued by the judge for the preliminary investigations of the ordinary Court of Rome for the hypothesis of “crime of aggravated fraud in competition, computer fraud, receiving stolen goods, substitution of person, possession and manufacture of false identification documents, improper use and falsification of cards credit and payment subtracted from the postal circuit “.
The investigations, which are still in the preliminary stages, tell of how the trio had set up an oiled system. The story begins in July 2020, when an elderly Roman woman turned to the Appio Nuovo police station to report a series of unauthorized withdrawals on her account. In fact, about 12 thousand euros had been stolen from there. All this had happened following a phone call received from the victim: a woman, who had presented herself as an employee of the bank to which the lady is a customer, fearing some problems with sending the new ATM, had managed to convince the victim to provide her the pin code of his new card that he had received a few days earlier.
Already from the first investigations it emerged that the fact reported to the Appio police station was not an isolated case. Investigators, working on more than 40 similar incidents that occurred throughout Italy, realized that the alleged criminal group came into possession of the letters containing the new ATM cards or credit cards intended for the bank’s customers. Most of the letters were stolen from the postal compartments of Padua, even if there are similar shortages also from Bologna and Peschiera Borromeo. With the cards in hand, the three began to call the customers, knowing full well that, with other methods (other registered messages or text messages on their mobile phones), they had already got hold of the pin, trying to extort the combination of 5 numbers. Those who did not want to provide the pin “verbally”, according to what was reconstructed by the Police Headquarters, were invited to type it on their mobile phone.
At that point, since a “dual tone multi-frequency” was installed on the scammer’s phone, that is a coding system, used in telephony to decrypt numerical codes in the form of sound signals in the audio band, the code was in fact acquired. After getting into possession of the pin, the scam, on which an investigation is still underway, was completed with a further more complex move: to avoid stopping at the simple withdrawal allowed from the ceiling, the three moved sums of money to other current accounts. Subsequently, from these, once the banking movement had been ascertained, they proceeded to withdraw other sums.
All operations which, according to this phase of investigation, were carried out with obsolete mobile phones and electronic devices, with inside sim cards purchased with false documents. The devices, in fact use and throw away, were used by the group to contact the victims and to communicate between the members of the group during the various stages of the scam. Furthermore, during the investigation phase, one of the alleged perpetrators was stopped while carrying about 300 envelopes of the credit institution involved in the investigation (but unrelated to the facts), with ATMs and credit cards inside, hidden in the hood of the car.