Czech police have arrested a man suspected of involvement in a gang that stole from the bank accounts of innocent internet users.
In what is reported to be the first arrest of its kind in the Czech Republic, a man was arrested while waiting at a bank counter in Prague, where it is claimed he was attempting to pick up money stolen through the phishing scheme. If found guilty, the man faces up to 12 years in prison.
According to the police, the man, who was not identified, was hired by a criminal gang to withdraw money from a bank account which held funds transferred from plundered accounts belonging to Citibank customers. The gang is said to have sent a number of emails disguised as communications from Citibank, asking for recipients to confirm their bank account details and other personal data.
"The Czech police deserves congratulations for investigating this case and making its first phishing arrest. But this is just an opening move in a long game, and we also need to see firm action taken against the phisher kings," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "We have for a long time been aware of criminal gangs operating in eastern Europe, which is sadly becoming one of the world's hotspots for internet crime. Everyone needs to be on their guard against phishing, and ensure that their finances are not being put at risk."