29 Arrested In £7.5m Credit Card Fraud Bust

Crooks stole data from point of sale systems and created fake credit cards

The European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) and its global partners have arrested 29 as part of an investigation into a massive credit card fraud operation, which may have caused losses of at least $12 million (£7.5m).

Crooks tampered with point of sale (PoS) systems to pilfer credit card data in shopping centres across Europe and North America, Europol’s EC3 said. Canadian, French and German police authorities made the arrests related to Operation Spyglass towards the end of last month.

It’s unclear whether the crooks used malware to pilfer the data, as seen recently in South Africa, and EC3 had not responded to a request for comment at time of publication.

Arrest cyber crime security - Shutterstock - © Evlakhov Valeriy

Credit card fraud arrests

The alleged head of the criminal network was apprehended in Boucherville, on Montreal’s South Shore. Another 15 were arrested in Canada, along with seven in France and six in Germany.

The gang was able to acquire information on at least 30,000 credit cards. Data was transferred throughout Quebec to be decrypted and re-routed abroad, EC3 said.

Fake credit cards were then created to draw cash out of ATM machines, with the average illegal withdrawal around €300 (£251.85) per counterfeit card.

Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), Troels Oerting, added: “This is another great example of very successful cooperation between law enforcement in several EU Member States, colleagues worldwide and in Canada, utilising Europol’s unique tools, whereby EC3 acted as a virtual and physical platform for the joint operation.

“We are continuously investing more resources into this vital support platform, and we can now see the result of the joint work, especially by also providing forensic cyber expertise from EC3 to these complicated cases.”

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