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38 Involved in a Global Phishing Network Indicted

According to news from Romanian and US authorities on May 19, 2008, 38 people from these two nations have been indicted of allegedly using intricate phishing scams in order to steal thousands of debit and credit card numbers, as reported by PC World on May 19, 2008.

The news further revealed that a number of federal and offshore law enforcement groups conducted the investigation as they got together and held the offenders responsible for racketeering, identity theft and bank fraud via phishing sites.

Phishing is a fraud activity in which users receive e-mails appearing like official messages from credit card companies or banks in efforts to trick them into visiting a phony Website and providing their private account numbers.

In the current case, a Los Angeles grand jury charged 33 people for an alleged involvement in a scam that attacked thousands of consumers and several hundred financial institutions. Before the unsealing of the 65-count indictment on May 19, the jury decided to charge seven people in a Connecticut indictment for taking part in an online phishing scheme. Among these seven people, two were accused in the Los Angeles case.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles indictments included charges of conspiracy to breach the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, conspiracy in accessing devices, illegally accessing a protected PC, carrying out bank swindle, and committing identity theft.

As accords to the investigation, phishers targeted customers of several financial institutions such as Citibank, Commercia Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, Wells Fargo, PayPal and eBay.

According to PCWorld news on May 19, 2008, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said that the phishing gang's Romanian members gathered thousands of debit and credit card account numbers and an additional personal data through phishing. These members sent over 1.3 Million spam mails in a single attack after which they transmitted the bulk of stolen information to US-based cashiers through online chats.

Meanwhile, after Mark R. Filip, Deputy Attorney General along with Romania's Prosecutor General announced the charges and said that as Internet criminals do not bother about national borders, therefore, efforts to stop their acts too cannot restrict to individual countries' borders, as reported by ocregister on May 20, 2008.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

» SPAMfighter News - 5/29/2008

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