Feds Net 38 In Global Phishing Busts
Albert Milliron | May 19, 2008 at 06:36 pmby
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Crime Ring steals Social Security, Credit Card Data From Internet Users
AP) Thirty-eight people were charged Monday with stealing names, Social Security numbers, credit card data and other personal information from unsuspecting Internet users as part of a global crime ring.
The Romanian-based phishing scams sought to rip off thousands of consumers and hundreds of financial institutions, according to indictments unsealed in Los Angeles and New Haven, Conn.
The two related cases marked the latest example of what the Justice Department describes as a growing worldwide threat posed by organized crime.
"International organized crime poses a serious threat not only to the United States and Romania, but to all nations," Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip said in a statement from Bucharest, where he announced the charges. "Criminals who exploit the power and convenience of the Internet do not recognize national borders; therefore our efforts to prevent their attacks cannot end at our borders either."
The practice known as phishing typically involves sending fraudulent e-mails that include links directing recipients to fake Web sites where they are asked to input sensitive data. Phishers may also include attachments that, when clicked, secretly install "spyware" that can capture personal information and send it to third parties over the Internet.