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Aktualitet

They used Artificial Intelligence when they did not convince the 'client' to sign the contract, SPAK hits 3 Call Centers in Tirana

They used Artificial Intelligence when they did not convince the

The Prosecutor's Office of the Republic near the Court of Milan and the Special Prosecutor's Office against Corruption and Organized Crime (SPAK) have struck a case of the "wild telemarketing" phenomenon that afflicts millions of citizens every day.

SPAK notice:

The Public Prosecutor's Office at the Court of Milan and the Special Prosecutor's Office against Corruption and Organized Crime, including the participation of the Postal Police and the Milan Cyber ??Security Service, the International and Police Cooperation Service - the Office of the Security Expert in Albania, together with The National Bureau of Investigation (BKH), the Department of the Criminal Police - the Directorate of Investigation and Organized Crime and the Cyber ??Crimes Unit of the Albanian State Police, carried out today on 25.06.2024, in Tirana, investigative actions on account of a criminal proceedings of the Italian authorities.

From the investigations of the Italian authorities, it has been established that a series of frauds were committed within a criminal organization. The frauds committed by the suspects started from countless phone calls (made even early in the morning or late in the evening) with which the data of the victims were collected, who were convinced that they were talking to employees of ARERA (Regulatory Authority for Energy and Environment Networks in Italy) or with the energy companies with which they had concluded regular electricity and gas supply contracts. This information was collected using a variety of excuses: the most frequently used one referred to phantom road works that had cut electric cables or gas pipelines and due to which it was necessary to temporarily activate a new contract with an operator " agreed".

When they failed to convince the victim with such reasoning, the accused used the data obtained during the phone calls to reactivate the contract by putting fake signatures at the end of the document. In other cases, when the activation procedure required voice recording, then the voice recording of the victim's voice, recorded during the call, was processed skillfully with audio editors or artificial intelligence applications in order to hear the pronunciation from the unconscious user, of the necessary personal data and the various "yes" he had to give for the answers to the questions of the operator responsible for obtaining consent.

Only after a few months did the real problems begin for the victims, who, completely unaware that they had signed a contract with a new energy company, received payment requests for unpaid bills. At that point began the ordeal of countless phone calls, with increasingly aggressive and intimidating tones, with which the people responsible for debt collection demanded payment of the unpaid amount.

The complex and detailed investigative activity, developed at a very fast pace for a year and a half, involved the analysis of a considerable amount of electronic and banking data, in addition to performing police services on the territory, in Italy and Albania, with the aim of obtaining all the necessary evidence.

As the investigations took shape, it was possible to identify many more victims (about a thousand) who had not yet realized that they had fallen into the trap of the criminal organization. Many of them have contributed decisively to the successful completion of the investigations, by filing a complaint or providing useful information for the correct reconstruction of the facts.

The on-site and IT controls ordered by the Milan Prosecutor's Office and the Special Prosecutor's Office concerned a total of 35 targets, of which 32 in Italy and 3 in Albania, in the city of Tirana. In particular, the activities targeted the two operating headquarters of Padua energy companies (recently sanctioned by the Privacy Guarantee and Antitrust), 12 call center headquarters (of which 3 in Albania) and 21 entities including administrators , accountants, consultants and employees of energy companies and call centers.

Among the elements revealed during the investigations, those found in the headquarters of a call center where copies of the false contracts that were the subject of the complaint and the corresponding voice recordings were found are of particular importance. In addition, very up-to-date lists of residential users to be contacted for the conclusion of electricity and gas contracts were found, so voluminous (millions of data) that they require significant computing resources for their management and consultation.

Also thanks to the seizure of computer systems, remote servers, cloud spaces and specialized technological equipment, the operation gave a very heavy blow to the phenomenon of "wild telemarketing" that afflicts millions of citizens every day, absolutely transversely and in violation of the rules aimed at consumer protection.