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Credit card fraud sting nets 56

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Wednesday October 22, 2008 )

The FBI and international law enforcement agencies recenty provided details on a sting operation that resulted in 56 arrests in relation to credit card fraud.

The agency infiltrated a forum called “Dark Market”. I’ve read in various reports they actually set the forum up and it was run by an FBI agent (J. Keith Mularski AKA Master Splynter) and operated by the National Cyber Forensics Training Alliance (NCFTA).

The forum was an international marketplace for those involved with the buying and selling of stolen credit card data, login details and related hardware. At its peak, the Dark Market forum boasted a membership of 2,500.

The FBI states that around $70 million in economic loss was avoided by the seizure of compromised victim accounts being traded. Among those scooped up in the sting was a master ATM Hacker from Turkey called ‘Chao’.

Even though rumours had been round for a long time that Dark Market was under law enforcement control, it didn’t prevent the brazen fraudsters from buying and selling credit card information through the forum.

The operation was very successful, but it’s only a drop in the bucket of the low-lifes out here who wreak havoc in consumers’ and online merchants’ lives. The really odd and sad thing is that many of them believe their lifestyles and choice of careers to be quite glamorous. They are no better than the muggers and gutter thugs of the “real” world.

As merchants, we can do our bit in the battle against fraud (and also in the battle to stay in business) by implementing solid credit card fraud screening strategies.


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