Romania Swoops In on 70 Cyber Theft Suspects
Kim Zetter writes on Threat Level:
Romanian police arrested 70 suspects Tuesday who they claim were involved in eBay scams and other cybercrimes since 2006.More here.
Believed to be members of three separate gangs, the scammers used phishing attacks to get the login credentials of eBay account holders, then used the accounts to auction nonexistent goods. Police have identified approximately 800 victims who sent money for non-existent Rolex watches, cars, yachts, private airplanes and other luxury goods. Buyers from around the world lost an estimated $1 million after they sent money for winning auctions, but never received goods. According to one Romanian news source, an American buyer paid about $90,000 for a luxury aircraft in one auction.
The crooks allegedly operated in Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. Police have so far recovered only a small, undetermined amount of money in the raids. Romanian authorities posted a video of one of the police raids on YouTube (above).
Suspects in several countries reportedly exchanged homes, cars and phone cards among themselves.
The investigation, dubbed Operation Valley of the Kings, involved hundreds of law enforcement agents in multiple cities and more than 100 search warrants. It was a joint operation between the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service and the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT).