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Ukrainian smishing scammers arrested in Budapest

Two Ukrainian nationals have been arrested in Budapest on suspicion of stealing more than 10 million forints (EUR 26,500) by scamming their victims out of their bank card details using fraudulent text messages, the Budapest police headquarters said on Wednesday.

According to a criminal report filed by a bank, dozens of its clients received scam text messages containing malicious links before March this year.

Investigators identified and arrested the two suspects within three days, police said.

According to the criminal report, one of the suspected scammers sent text messages containing smishing links to 60 of the bank’s clients from a Danish phone number. The text message claimed that the client’s bank card was blocked and instructed them to sign in to the bank’s website and update their card details.

Police said the suspects registered the stolen bank card details to an e-wallet service between March 7 and 22 and used smart ATMs to withdraw around 3 million forints from the accounts of 18 bank clients.

The suspects were arrested on April 4 in Budapest and have been interrogated on suspicion of fraud.

A search of the flat they rented yielded ten smartphones, two tablets, one laptop, two smartwatches, 42 SIM cards, close to 400,000 forints worth of cash in Ukraine hryvnias, US dollars and Danish krone, as well as more than 12 million forints worth of cryptocurrency, police said.

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