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US Court Convicted Romanian for Involvement in Phishing Scam

A 23 year old Romanian, Ovidiu-Ionut Nicola-Roman, who was accused in 2008 for playing a major role in an international phishing scam, was sentenced to 4 years and 2 months imprisonment on March 30, 2009 by the US Court.

As per court documents, prosecutors claimed that Nicola-Roman made phishing sites to deceive customers of People's Bank in October 2005, and also knew techniques that enabled him to phish customers of Wells Fargo, Suntrust, Amazon.com, LaSalle Bank, US Bank, PayPal and eBay.

The court documents also revealed that Nicola Roman did not write the software on its own, but he collected several online fraud tools which included a program called Web Data Extractor, which aided him in extracting many e-mail addresses. Another program called WebZIP Unlimited was also used to make phishing sites that seem authentic.

Moreover, one more software called Email Sender Express helped Nicola-Roman to send spam programs at a speed of 30,000 spam mails per hour.

The data supplied to prosecutors by People's Bank revealed that 78 out of 88 People's Bank card numbers that investigators discovered in Nicola Roman possession had been used for illegal activities. He used mail accounts which have stolen credit card details and access the credit card numbers to steal between $200,000 and $400,000. Prosecutors informed that that the phisher collected an average of US$960 per card number.

Security experts also claim that Nicola Roman is the first foreigner to be convicted in the US for phishing charges as federal prosecutors quickly pointed a sentencing memorandum to the judge hearing the case.

In addition, with reference to Nicola-Roman's case, the Judge says that the court is witnessed a distinctive chance to show that criminals worldwide can not carry out the phishing scams with liberty, as reported by The Register on March 31, 2009.

But security experts reveal that although Nicola-Roman is held, there are still some members of his gang that remain unpunished.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

» SPAMfighter News - 4/6/2009

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