Interpol seizes over $250 mil. in assets in global crackdown on online scams

The International Criminal Police Organization has announced a major crackdown on online fraud, resulting in nearly 4,000 arrests across 61 countries. Interpol also reported a record seizure of assets worth over 250 million dollars in total.

Interpol revealed on Thursday that it conducted a global operation against online scams in cooperation with relevant authorities in Japan and other nations from last year through May this year.

According to Interpol, 3,950 suspects were arrested worldwide in connection with investment fraud, fake online shopping sites and other scams. Authorities seized cash, real estate and other assets totaling 257 million dollars, believed to have been swindled from fraud victims.

The global police agency said this seized amount is the largest since it began crackdowns on online fraud in 2014.

In the southern African country of Namibia, the operation uncovered a group of scammers who allegedly enticed victims into making large investments through social media and dating apps. Authorities reportedly rescued 88 young people who were forced into creating fake accounts using generative AI.

Kaya Tomonobu, who is in charge of financial crimes at Interpol, said that advancements in AI technology have made it easier for fraudsters to carry out scams overseas.

He noted that there has been an increase in fraud cases in which criminal organizations share responsibilities and roles like corporations, attempting to avoid police detection by committing crimes from abroad.

Kaya added that international cooperation is becoming increasingly important.