Crime isn’t just a big business. It can also be a big employer.

On Aug. 6, the Kyiv branch of the National Police broke up a large-scale fraudulent scheme to steal money from bank clients. The criminals behind the scheme set up call centers that employed 300 people.

Their employees would pose as representatives of reputable banks and send out text messages to bank clients, claiming that someone had attempted to break into their bank accounts. Then the call center employees would call the clients and trick them into handing over their bank card data. 

The alleged employees of the fake call center stand in their Kyiv office on Aug. 6, 2020. The photo was published on the official Facebook page of the Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office. (Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office | Facebook)

According to the Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office, the scammers were able to illegally obtain databases containing phone numbers of clients of Ukrainian and international banks operating in Ukraine.

The fake call centers were based in Kyiv and Dnipro, a regional capital 450 kilometers southeast of the capital. 


According to the prosecution, the people behind the scheme provided their employees with all the required equipment for the job. 

Police conducted searches in the apartments of suspects in organizing the scheme. It is still unclear how much money the criminals managed to steal from bank clients. 

If found guilty, the people behind the call centers face up to eight years behind bars. 

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