Romanian Phisher Admits to Phishing Charge

Acting United States Attorney - Nora R. Dannehy - for the District of Connecticut announced that 22-year old Ovidiu-Ionut Nicola-Roman of Craiova, Romania has admitted of conspiracy to commit Internet fraud with respect to access devices. According to Dannehy, Nicola-Roman pleaded guilty before Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons, US Magistrate in Bridgeport on July 22, 2008.

Meanwhile, according to the details of the felony revealed to the media, Nicola-Roman along with six other Romanians were accused in a legal charge that a New Havens federal jury returned on January 18, 2007 with regard to an online phishing scam.

Phishing is a practice that typically involves dispatching of fraudulent e-mails containing links that lead recipients to counterfeit Websites where user's sensitive data is stolen. The criminals also known as phishers may include attachments too that quietly install spyware to seize the recipient's private information and to forward it to other parties on the Internet.

Also, as indicated in the reports, investigation into the case revealed its modus operandi. A citizen had complained of receiving a bogus e-mail that apparently came from Connecticut-based People's Bank.

More specifically, the message directed the recipient to a Minnesota-located computer that was compromised and employed to host a counterfeit site of People's Bank.

The investigation further revealed that the suspects had operated similar phishing scams previously against various companies and financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., PayPal, eBay, Capital One, Citibank and Commercial Bank.

It also divulged that although the phishing scam mentioned above was operated from Canada, Portugal, the US and Pakistan, the incidences linked to two Romanians, who played a role in both the phishing schemes, according to authorities, as reported by BusinessWeek on July 22, 2008.

In the meantime, according to the prosecutors, the phishers in Romania captured data of thousands of payment card accounts along with other personal information from users who responded to the spam. Later on, they forwarded the data to US where they were misused to withdraw funds from the users' bank accounts turning the people into easy phishing lures.

Related article: Romanian Hacker Haunting ebay

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