Police bust major ID theft ring in New York

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Thirty-eight people living in New York have been charged with leveraging stolen consumer data to create bogus credit cards that were then used to purchase high-priced goods, such as computers and televisions, authorities said.

Investigators traced the identity theft ring back to China, where
police believe hackers were based when they stole the account numbers
of tens of thousands of American consumers, according to the Queens
County District Attorney's Office on Thursday. Many of the 39 people
who were arrested lived in Queens or Brooklyn and were Chinese in
origin.

Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for District Attorney Richard Brown, told
SCMagazineUS.com on Friday that the individuals charged were part of a
gang responsible for using equipment to manufacture counterfeit credit cards and driver's
licenses.

They then sent out teams of "shoppers" to visit stores in New
York, Texas and Arizona, authorities said. These people were encouraged to purchase expensive goods, such as TVs, laptops, gaming consoles and jewelry. The
items were then resold, at a small discount, over the internet.

"They were getting raw materials [the data] from the supplier in
China," Ryan said. "The quality of their products [fake cards and
licenses] were exceptional."

The 16-month investigation into the ring, dubbed "The House of Cards"
by police, discovered that the group was using credit and debit card
numbers, stolen from a major retailer, Ryan said. He would not identify
the merchant that was breached.

"Many of the defendants charged (Thursday) are accused of going on
nationwide shopping sprees, purchasing tens of thousands of dollars
worth of high-end electronics, handbags and jewelry with forged credit
cards that contained the account information of unsuspecting
customers," Brown said in a news release. "Particularly disturbing is
the fact that, in a number of cases, the defendants are charged with
using bogus documents to purchase airline tickets and then using those
documents as identification to board aircraft."

Those arrested face up to 25 years in prison.

See original article on scmagazineus.com
Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition
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