This placement fraud caused an estimated €1.5 million in damages. Accounts worth more than €1.2 million frozen (€500 000 in Lithuania and €700 000 in other countries).
On 4 March 2021, Europol supported a hit on a large investment fraud network operating in several EU Member States. The investigation, led the by Lithuanian Police and involving law enforcement authorities from Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom was also assisted by Eurojust.
The criminal network was specifically targeting academics in Germany, according to the press release. The victims were interested in investing their funds in saving accounts hosted on foreign online deposit platforms. They found the offers themselves and applied for these services. They also send deposits to individual accounts opened under their names. In reality, the accounts belonged to Lithuanian companies running the scam.
The suspects offered savings accounts, where the funds were to be deposited for a longer period, usually between six months and three years. They used this trick to earn enough time to escape with the funds and hide their traces.
Once received, the funds were transferred to accounts in other EU Member States with part of it being cashed out at ATMs in Sweden. Investigators estimate that the criminal network has defrauded its German victims of a total of €1.5 million.