Readers of this blog are well aware of the different ways that credit card fraud can be carried out and how rich of a business it can be for the fraudsters that commit the crime. However, law enforcement agencies never stop looking for those responsible and last week, four ne'er-do-wells pled guilty to participating in one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever.
According to a report from the New Jersey office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the group was responsible for stealing $200 million in an international credit card fraud conspiracy. They fabricated more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit card numbers and then used that information to doctored credit reports to pump up the spending and borrowing power associated with the cards. Once cards were obtained, they borrowed or spent as much as possible, but did not repay the debt.
"The scheme involved a three-step process in which the defendants would make up a false identity by creating fraudulent identification documents and a fraudulent credit profile with the major credit bureaus; pump up the credit of the false identity by providing false information about that identity's creditworthiness to those credit bureaus; then run up large loans," the article reads.
According to New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, this is one of the largest schemes the Justice Department has ever charged. It also highlights the idea that every merchant should ensure they have the proper credit card processing equipment and security software to make sure customer information is secure.