111 arrested in massive ID theft bust

IDG News Service, By Robert McMillan, October 7, 2011

Restaurant workers and bank insiders are charged in what’s billed as the largest-ever ID theft round-up. Prosecutors call it the biggest identity theft bust in U.S. history. On Friday, 111 bank tellers, retail workers, waiters and alleged criminals were charged with running a credit-card-stealing organization that stole more than $13 million in less than a year-and-a-half. “This is by far the largest — and certainly among the most sophisticated — identity theft/credit card fraud cases that law enforcement has come across,” the Queens County District Attorney’s office said in a statement announcing the arrests. The credit card numbers came from far and wide: from skimming operations in the U.S., where restaurant employees or retail cashiers were paid to steal credit card data from customers; from carder forums on the Internet; and also from shady overseas suppliers in countries such as Russia, China and Libya. In all, five groups of criminals were targeted in the two-year law enforcement operation, dubbed “Operation Swiper.” Together, they ran the full gamut of criminal activities required to steal credit card numbers and convert that data into cash, prosecutors said. Eighty-six of the defendants are in custody; police are looking for the remaining 25, prosecutors said.  The accused are charged with running a thoroughly modern identity theft ring that included ID thieves, skimmers, card makers, fences and shopping crews: groups that would buy thousands of dollars worth of merchandise in stores throughout the U.S.  http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9220655/111_arrested_in_massive_ID_theft_bust

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