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Police have taken down an international cybercrime gang, based in the UK, that had been offering a service to criminals, which allowed them to steal from victims using fraudulent text messages, with 37 people worldwide now having been arrested, 24 of which in Britain. It's estimated that 70,000 people have fallen victim to the scams, which saw them put their personal details into a website hosted by Lab Host. Our reporter Tom Simmons has the details.


It's 05:00 AM in South London, the end of a two-year investigation. This was one of a series of coordinated raids targeting cybercrime in 17 countries, masterminded from the UK. One man was arrested here and 23 others around the UK. This all began about two years ago when security experts for the banking industry, spotted on the dark web criminals offering other criminals a service, a way to make money using fishing with a PH. Lab Host provided the technology and training for other criminals to carry out phishing attacks, sending fraudulent text messages to get people to hand over their personal data. The police say there were an estimated 70,000 victims in the UK bombarded with messages linking to 47 fake websites, usually seeming to be online payment or shopping services. 480,000 payment card numbers have been stolen and 64,000 pin numbers. If you thought only older or less technically savvy people get scammed, well, you'd be wrong.


The victims in this case have been aged between about 25 and 45, predominantly.


Pretty young then. So, yeah. Digital natives.


Well, it's people who live their lives online that perhaps do their banking online, that shop online. They're more likely to fall victim to this because their use of the Internet is just so prevalent.


As the arrests were taking place, including at Luton and Manchester Airport. You have been identified as being involved in lab host. Police were also contacting 25,000 victims they've identified, giving details of how they've been scammed and giving them advice. As for lab host, well, yesterday, this was the moment it was shut down and replaced with this message from the police to the scammers. Tom Simons, BBC News, South London.