Germany arrests 10 in global Internet scam raids

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BERLIN, Sep 13 (Reuters) German police have arrested 10 people suspected of being involved in an international Internet scam which could have cost victims hundreds of thousands of euros, the Federal Police Office said today.

An 18-month-long probe resulted in raids in several German cities and the arrests of 10 Russians, Ukrainians and Germans who police think were involved in ''phishing'' -- or tricking people into revealing personal or financial details.

The group targeted bank customers who received emails purportedly from organisations like eBay Inc and Deutsche Telekom, said the office.

Attached to the emails was so-called Trojan horse software which records data entered in computers.

''This case shows that criminal organisations are using the Internet more and more to gain enormous amounts of money with a supposedly low risk of being caught,'' said Crime Office President Joerg Ziercke in a statement.

''The authorities face constant new challenges in the fight against computer crime where perpetrators are developing a higher degree of professionalism and specialisation.'' The office said the suspects had led luxurious lifestyles involving expensive jewellery, cars and travel.

The probe stretched across several western German cities, including Duesseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt.

Police are holding eight of the 10 arrested, including two women and six men aged between 20 and 36 years-old.

REUTERS SS HT1805

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