TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Web Site Operators Guilty of Phishing

Web Site Operators Guilty of Phishing

Associated Press News Wire (
Sat, 26 Nov 2005 15:40:28 -0600

Web Site Operators Admit Role In Phishing Ring

The scammers got at least 1.5 million stolen credit card numbers and
caused more than $4 million in losses, federal prosecutors said.

By The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP)--Six more people pleaded guilty Thursday to
operating a Web site that investigators claimed was one of the largest
online centers for trafficking in stolen identity information and
credit cards.

With others who pleaded guilty in recent weeks, that brings to 12
people who acknowledged roles with the site,, which had about 4,000 members who dealt
with at least 1.5 million stolen credit card numbers and caused more
than $4 million in losses, federal prosecutors said.

"The losses incurred were to the issuing banks and MasterCard, Visa,
American Express, who reimbursed those who were victimized by these
crimes," Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Dowd said.

Eight of those who pleaded guilty were among 19 in the United States
and abroad who were indicted in October 2004 after federal agents
gained control of the site during a yearlong undercover investigation
by the Secret Service and other agencies. Of the remaining 11, five
are fugitives and six still have charges pending.

The other four who pleaded guilty were among eight people charged by a
federal complaint.

The site used techniques such as "phishing" and spamming to illegally
obtain credit and bank card information, which were used to buy goods
on the Internet.

Phishing scams use e-mails that appear to come from banks or other
financial institutions to induce recipients to verify their accounts
by typing personal details -- credit card information, for example --
into a Web site disguised to appear legitimate.

Because sex-oriented web sites are frequently chosen for use as scam
sites -- because of their overall popularity -- it is recommended that
you be very cautious in providing any financial details to sex-based
web sites.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

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