Americans targeted in high-tech credit card scam

24th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 August 2005, BARCELONA — Spanish police have broken up a gang of Romanian thieves who stole thousands of euros by charging up credit cards, most of the owners of which are in the United States.

24 August 2005

BARCELONA — Spanish police have broken up a gang of Romanian thieves who stole thousands of euros by charging up credit cards, most of the owners of which are in the United States.

In a joint operation, the National Police and the regional police of Catalonia arrested 22 of its alleged members, most of them Romanians.

Inspector Jordi Olle said that the arrested persons had at their disposal some 5,000 forged credit cards and made charges each night on 30 to 60 of them, racking up a total bill of between USD 3,600 (EUR 2,949) and USD 7,200 (EUR 5,898).

The members of the network, which was made up of four 'cells', withdrew money from cashpoints using forged cards with US bank account numbers that they had stolen via the Internet.

They also used personal identification number (PIN) codes which they got surreptitiously from ATM customers using micro-cameras, superimposed keyboards and other high-tech methods.

The police suspect that the network obtained Spanish bank card information and that data had been sold to criminal gangs in other countries to be used abroad "to make the work of the police more difficult," Olle said.

The group "could have its tentacles all over the world" to swap the credit card information in an attempt to obscure from the authorities both the data used and the charges made.

Among those arrested, most of whom are between the ages of 20 and 51, is Valentin Antoni S., alias 'Toni', an expert in forging computer data with a record of directing similar operations in Valencia in a 'laboratory' to forge driver's licenses, identity cards, passports and other public and private documents.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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