The Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit has arrested six people accused of taking part in a sophisticated £1m phishing scam that targeted students with bogus loan finance web sites.
Spam messages were used to direct students to phishing sites that harvested loan account information. The accounts were then accessed and money was transferred by the attackers.
The scam is believed to have operated from August to 8 December when police raided the suspects' homes and seized computers and storage devices.
The accused range from 25 to 49 years and reside in Bolton, Stratford, Manchester and Deptford.
"We have today disrupted a suspected organised group of cyber criminals and prevented further loss to individuals and institutions in the UK," said Detective Inspector Mark Raymond.
"Today's arrests demonstrate what can be achieved when a partnership approach is adopted to investigate internet-based crime."
The arrests come just days after Yahoo claimed another victory in the fight against spam and phishing operations. The company was awarded $610m in damages after spammers used the Yahoo name and logo for a 'lottery prize' scam.