$325 on Amazon.com?! $150 on a steak dinner?! Flight tickets to Hawaii? Have you noticed strange transactions on your bank statements? Thankfully, most banks have great Fraud Protection services, but how did the fraudsters get your card information in the first place?
The Dark Web
Floating out and about on the Deep Blue Dark Web are credit and debit cards, waiting to be purchased. On the Dark Web, which you need Tor for access, various services can be found. From hit men to drugs to illegal activities, the Dark Web provides comfort to hackers and cybercriminals alike. Some run their businesses off these websites, others support it by making purchases.
Credit Card Scammer
A 23-year-old resident of Syracuse, New York by the named of Daquan Rice ran a credit card cloning scam. Rice and his associates would purchase credit card numbers from the Dark Web. The Dark Web vendors were in Russia, Pakistan, and Ukraine selling information they stole. Rice also purchased credit card numbers from a server at a local restaurant who would skim numbers off of customers’ cards.
In New York City, Rice had an associate with a credit card cloning machine. Rice would provide the numbers for the new cloned cards. They would buy gift cards with the cloned credit cards and then convert it into cash or money orders.
“It’s unfortunately not that hard or complicated to get your hands on stolen credit card numbers,” said Special Agent Brandon Mercer of the FBI’s Albany Division, who investigated this case along with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, New York State Police, and local law enforcement in the Syracuse area. “This information is readily available on the dark web from hackers and other criminals.”
There was nothing preventing Rice in this card cloning scheme. These cards were created with their own names, so even if a cashier required identification the name on the card would match their ID.
“It was a numbers game. They would print out hundreds of these cards. They would go to the register and swipe, and if it didn’t work, they would just throw it away and use the next one,” Mercer said. “A lot of these cards were only able to used once because the cardholder noticed the fraud and shut down the card.”
Rice began this scheme in 2014 and continued into 2016. The fraudsters made about $80,000 over two years. Rice was arrested in 2016 for credit card cloning, but Rice is no quitter.
He tried to continue his scheme from his jail cell. In 2017, Rice was working with an accomplice outside of prison who put about $8,000 of stolen funds through credit card fraud into Rice’s prison commissary account. Rice tried to the funds in that account to write large checks, but the prison shut down his account for the unusual activity and contacted the FBI.
Rice pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft, and in October, he was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison. Several accomplices have also been sentenced for their roles in the scheme.
“It’s important to do the simple things—checking bank statements, checking your credit report regularly, and making sure you are signed up for any suspicious transaction alerts your bank or credit card issuer offers,” Mercer said.
Mercer continued to say that large-scale credit card fraud schemes like this one are important investigations for the FBI because of the sheer volume of the crime, with hundreds of credit card numbers and thousands of dollars stolen.
Original Article Found Here.