GBG Investigate helps Cyber Defence Alliance smash multi-million-pound online frauds.

GBG Investigate helps Cyber Defence Alliance smash multi-million-pound online frauds.


The Cyber Defence Alliance works with banks, law enforcement, and many other partners to prevent cybercrime and pursue criminals.

Company size

1-10 employees


Public Sector



Share this

The challenge

Set up in 2015, the UK-based Cyber Defence Alliance (CDA) works with law enforcement, banks and government partners to fight cybercrime and fraud. Every day, the CDA analyses information about cyber threats, then shares its intelligence with Europol and global police forces from Ireland and the USA to Canada and Australia.

“We initiate and support many large investigations and seek to understand where criminals exchange ideas and offer their services, such as online fraud forums and the dark web,” says Mr Lilburn, the CDA’s Operations Director. “It might require locating users of a particular fraud or cyber forum, identifying the owner of a mobile phone linked to criminal activity or pinpointing phishing sites and working with Telco and ISP partners to get them blocked.”

That meant a tracing tool was a top priority when CDA operations began in 2016. “There was no need to look at other options,” says Mr Lilburn. “We brought in GBG Investigate straight away.”

GBG Investigate has helped us to detect and prevent tens or even hundreds of millions of pounds of fraud.

The solution

GBG Investigate taps into the UK’s largest pool of Personal Identifiable Information (PII): over 1.5 billion enhanced records that are constantly enriched and updated. Its wild card searches and fuzzy matching unearth vital leads from interlinked current and historic addresses, names, cohabitants, businesses, mobile numbers and much more.

“If we have a first name and a location or an uncommon surname, GBG Investigate gives us potential matches,” explains Mr Lilburn. “As a police intelligence manager, I used it for over 15 years in police units including homicide, human trafficking, extradition and cybercrime. If the team didn’t have GBG Investigate when I arrived, I made sure they added it.”

GBG Investigate has helped the CDA and police crack online fraud cases like Operation Katoko, resulting in over 20 arrests, including insiders at phone companies. It underpinned the fight to block 2020’s “smishing” text fraud epidemic and helped identify many of the criminals behind it.

“We use it all the time in all kinds of cases,” says Mr Lilburn. “Its ability to link phone numbers, emails and so much other ID data is incredibly powerful for us.”

There was no need to look at other options. We brought in GBG Investigate straight away.

The outcome

The GBG solution was vital in supporting Operation Elaborate, the Metropolitan Police’s biggest-ever fraud case. The iSpoof website let scam callers display a false Caller ID and pose as a trusted bank or credit card company.

Over 200,000 potential victims were targeted in the UK alone, with UK losses of at least £48 million and over £100 million globally. The site owners raked in almost £3.2 million in just 20 months.

“We worked alongside the lead police force to research user data and identify users of this criminal service,” says Mr Lilburn. “There’s now been more than 200 arrests worldwide. The website administrator got 13 years and 4 months – a great investigation by the Metropolitan Police who did the heavy lifting.”

Reliability, strong support and ongoing product development are further Investigate advantages. The CDA’s team regularly train with GBG to make the most of the latest functionality and features.

“For certain strands of investigation, GBG Investigate is definitely the best choice,” states Mr Lilburn. “It’s one of the very few tools that we favour and we’ve recommended it repeatedly to police forces, banks and other businesses. It has helped us to detect and prevent tens or even hundreds of millions of pounds of fraud.”

Talk to the trust experts