The international gangs who target UK citizens
Criminals who send fraudulent mail and make scam calls tend to avoid targeting consumers in their own country; this helps them avoid the unwanted attention of local law enforcement.
The NTS Scams Team has been working with Members of the International Mass Marketing Fraud Working Group (IMMFWG) and intelligence is shared with these enforcement agencies to increase awareness and trigger more international cooperation. The evidence they share includes detailed witness statements, physical exhibits and proof of offences committed. It gives officers enough information to instigate enforcement action against perpetrators (or their enablers and accomplices) in their respective countries.
You will probably never have thought about all the work that goes into organising a global scam but it is a team effort and often requires a wide of different skills. The NTS Scams Team have identified enablers as:
- Copy writers/creators of content
- Fulfillment houses (to process orders and meet demand)
- Data brokers (who supply marketing lists)
- Post Office Box providers (who provide anonymity)
- Mail consolidators (international postal authorities who carry items from one country to another)
There is also a dependence on payment processors to convert foreign currency into domestic currency, before it is deposited as funds in criminal accounts. Some scammers even run airlines to fly all their cash around the world!
These enablers/accomplices are either: fully aware of the criminal activity being carried out or unaware that they are helping execute a crime.
Those who are aware of their criminal behaviour are dealt with using disruption tactics and/or enforcement actions. For those unknowingly involved, there is a robust action plan to educate them on the true nature of the activities of their ‘employers’. If they continue to participate, they are then deemed complicit and can be charged and prosecuted with aiding and abetting the criminals.