Gang Busted In International PhishingExpedition

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TUCSON, Ariz. - (11/09/05) -- Seventeen area residents wereindicted by a federal grand jury here this week in connection withan international ring that used credit card information stolenduring online phishing attacks to create phony credit cards andring up hundreds of thousands of dollars of charges against U.S.banks and credit unions. The ring used card numbers and otherpersonal information supplied by people oversees to makecounterfeit cards, which were then used to make as much as $600,000in cash withdrawals at ATMs, authorities said this week. The fundswere withdrawn primarily from four Tuscon-area institutions: DMFCU, Bank One and two branches of Marshall & Isley Bank,according to the indictments, obtained Tuesday by The Credit UnionJournal. The suspects, most of them under 25 years old, had morethan 4,500 illegally obtained credit and debit card numbers andPINs, as well as Social Security numbers, addresses and personalpasswords, when they were arrested. Computer hackers outside theU.S. used phishing and pharming to lure customers to onlinewebsites and convinced them to supply the thieves with theirpersonal information, the indictments said. The Tucson participantswere recruited over Internet chat rooms by people in 19 countries,including Russia, Lithuania, Egypt, Pakistan, England, Canada,Mexico, Australia, Serbia and Montenegro. The Tucson suspects livedin two houses and made counterfeit cards using blank cards andencoding them with magnetic strips on the back with the stoleninformation. Twelve of the suspects have been arrested and five arestill at large, authorities said.

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