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International Credit Card Scam Busted in Calgary
A team of 17 law enforcement partners, led by the Calgary Police Service and the RCMP have completed a 15 month investigation into an international counterfeit credit card ring.
The investigation has resulted in 478 criminal charges against 63 people, including 124 charges against 18 Calgary residents. It is estimated the investigation prevented $23 million in credit card fraud in Canada.
Electronic data was stolen from thousands of legitimate credit cards at 116 retail merchants throughout North America. The data was used to manufacture counterfeit credit cards, which were subsequently used in 34 countries.
Among the items seized by investigators included:
- equipment for eight counterfeit credit card factories, located in B.C., Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto
- 126 counterfeit credit cards
- 18 forged identifications
- $879,500 in cash and property from related crimes were seized during search and seizure operations in B.C. and Alberta
- thousands of items used to counterfeit credit cards
In all, there were 23 search warrants executed in Calgary by the CPS and the RCMP.
Another 30 search warrants were executed by the Organized Crime Agency of B.C. in the greater Vancouver area.
The basic mechanism of how the scam works is this - a person goes to a merchant to pay for merchandise with a credit card. The compromised employee taking the card scans the card for the sale, and scans the card a second time with a portable machine which records the credit card number and holder of the card. Then the employee sells this information to the next part of the chain. A computer person with appropriate software collates the numbers of the copied cards.
Then in a sophisticated manner, these obtained numbers are used to actually manufacture counterfeit cards using the plastic, and the magnetic strip. Next the card is imprinted to raise the card numbers.
Finally, many times false identification would be prepared to match the counterfeit credit card.
Date of Story: Friday, February 01, 2002
Story Posted By: Ron Reinhold
Source: Ron Reinhold
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