An Indian-origin teen in the UK has been charged with fraud offences as part of an investigation into a website, which enabled criminals to subvert banking anti-fraud measures.
Vijayasidhurshan Vijayanathan, 19, from Buckinghamshire was recently charged along with two others with conspiracy to make and supply articles for use in fraud, and was arrested last month, UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) said.
Cyber crime investigators from NCA began probing the paid for subscription website www.OTP.Agency in June 2020.
The site provided a service to criminals by helping them socially engineer bank account holders into disclosing genuine one-time-passcodes, or give other personally identifiable information, allowing multi-factor authentication to be bypassed.
This granted access to a victim's online banking or other accounts, enabling criminals to complete fraudulent online transactions.
"This website was essentially a one-stop-shop which provided tools that made it easy for criminals to access bank accounts of members of the public and steal from them," Anna Smith, Operations Manager from the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit, said.
Investigators believe over 12,500 members of the public were targeted between September 2019 and March 2021, when the alleged website controllers were arrested and it was taken offline.
"Criminals may pretend to be a trusted person or company when they call, email or message you. If something seems suspicious or unexpected, such as requests for personal information, contact the organisation directly to check using details published on their official website," Smith said, urging those using online banking services to be vigilant.