Hit Against Spear Phishing

On 28 March 2018, after a two-year cybercrime investigation, 20 suspects were arrested for banking fraud that netted €1 million from hundreds of customers of two major banking institutions.

The spear phishing e-mails were used by a Romanian and Italian organised criminal group to impersonate tax authorities. By means of this scam, the group gained access to the online banking credentials of their victims. While common phishing scams generate generic e-mails, spear phishing e-mails are personally addressed to targeted e-mail users. The content appears to have been sent from a reputable source. When a link in these e-mails is clicked, recipients are led to a fake version of a legitimate website from which their account and contact details are stolen.

The investigation was supported by Eurojust, Europol, and its Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce. It was carried out by a Joint Investigation Team of the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism, the Romanian National Police, the Prosecution Office of Milan, and the Italian National Police.

News Guide

EU Eurojust


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section