Four arrested in South East as part of international fraud operation

Specialist officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) have made four arrests as part of the international fraud investigation, Operation Elaborate. 

SEROCU officers recently conducted two separate early morning warrants in Sussex and Surrey.  

A 49-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man both from Worthing, were arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation on 8 November. They were released on bail until 1 February. 

Two men aged 23 and 24, both from Redhill, were arrested on 15 November, also on suspicion of fraud by false representation. They were released on bail until 2 February. 

The arrests are in connection with the use of a website which allowed users to buy services via cryptocurrency enabling them to impersonate the telephone numbers of legitimate institutions, persuading victims to provide personal information which was subsequently used in fraud and associated offences. 

Electronic devices, cash and cryptocurrency were also recovered as part of the international investigation, which is being led by the Metropolitan Police’s Cyber Crime Unit. 

Detective Inspector Tom Bradshaw, of SEROCU, said: “These arrests demonstrate our commitment to proactively tackling fraudsters across the South East region.

“By working in collaboration with the Metropolitan Police Service, national and international law enforcement partners, we continue to play our part in identifying and disrupting those who defraud victims of millions of pounds every year.” 

Advice on staying safe online can be found on the website of the National Cyber Security Centre. 

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please call the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040.