Polish police have broken up a criminal group that runs fake online stores. The detained men may face up to 15 years in prison.
Officers from the Katowice Management Board and the Rzeszów Department of the Central Bureau for Combating Cybercrime were investigating a group of men from the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship who took part in organizing a criminal operation involving the operation of fake online stores. The police found that this group had launched at least two websites where it offered, among others: mobile phones, game consoles and other electronic equipment. The total amount of losses defrauded by the injured persons is over PLN 297,000. PLN and it is possible that it may change at a later stage of the proceedings.
6 men running fake shops were detained
A few days ago, police officers from the Central Bureau for Combating Cybercrime, with the cooperation of officers SPKP from Łódź and Bydgoszcz, carried out a coordinated operation, as a result of which they detained 6 men aged 22 to 52 from the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship. At the men’s place of residence, they secured over 100 pieces of various types of electronics, including phones, tablets, laptops, memory cards, pendrives and SIM cards. Moreover, money in the amount of over PLN 77,000 was secured for future penalties. PLN, over 10 thousand Euro and 5 cars. The police’s actions were taken before the criminal activity developed on a larger scale.
The detained men are suspected of participating in an organized criminal group committing fraud by running fake online stores, committing this act in relation to property of significant value. At the District Prosecutor’s Office in Rzeszów, they heard criminal charges under Art. 258 § 1 of the Penal Code and 286 § 1 in connection with joke. 294 § 1 of the Penal Code, including in connection with Art. 65§1 penal code which may result in up to 15 years of imprisonment. The District Court in Rzeszów agreed to the prosecutor’s request and applied preventive measures to 5 suspects in the form of temporary arrest and to one in the form of police supervision.
Fake online store. How to defend yourself against them?
Fake online stores are a tempting target, offering items at suspiciously low prices. Unfortunately, many people fall for such a “super” offer and after paying for the purchased items, they never receive them, losing the funds paid.
Remember that a clearly low price should be the first signal to take a closer look at such an offer. As CERT Polska informs in its campaign, when shopping online, let’s check a few things:
does the store offer popular payment methods,
whether there are any extreme opinions about the store, whether the ratings seem artificial and whether they were created at the same time,
is there a telephone number for this store on the website,
how long the company has been operating on the market/when it was registered.