Cyber cops have made 11 arrests, including three Brits, as they smashed a global online card fraud gang that made more than $200m.
The UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit worked with US and Vietnamese law enforcement to target operators of the mattfeuter web forum, which had more than 16,000 members.
According to police, the web forum enabled criminal members to stipulate the quantity and types of credit cards they were looking for. Those willing to place large orders were even given bulk discounts. It is estimated that data relating to more than 1.1 million credit cards was sold on the forum.
Andy Archibald, deputy director of SOCA's National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “One of the world’s major facilitation networks for online card fraud has been dismantled by this operation. Those engaged in this type of crime should know that they are neither anonymous, nor beyond the reach of law enforcement agencies.”
UK police arrested three men in London: a 37-year-old from West Ham, a 34-year-old from Thornton Heath and a 44-year-old from Manor Park. Eight further arrests were made by Vietnamese officials, including 23-year-old Duy Hai Truong, who is believed to be one of the ringleaders.
Police worked with colleagues from Europol and card companies including Visa and MasterCard to pursue the gang. Earlier this year, Europol led a sting against a separate Asian card fraud syndicate, arresting two suspects travelling on forged documents.
“We and our partners, in the UK and abroad, continue to protect the public and legitimate businesses by targeting websites trading in stolen card data, and relentlessly pursuing those who operate and frequent them,” added Archibald.