Gang responsible for European credit card theft dismantled

Finnish law enforcement authorities, working closely with the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, have dismantled a criminal network responsible for illegal internet transactions and purchasing of airline tickets.

Two members of the Asian criminal gang, travelling on false documents, were arrested at Helsinki airport.  Approximately 15, 000 credit card numbers were found on computers seized from the criminals.

The criminal network had been misusing credit card details stolen from cardholders worldwide. In Europe alone, over €70, 000 in losses were sustained by cardholders and banks.

There is also evidence of other criminal activities involving large-scale international payment fraud and illegal immigration.

Investigations into sophisticated online scams are extremely challenging for national police forces in Europe. ‘In this case, the commitment of the Finnish Border Guard and National Police, coupled with the close international cooperation facilitated by Europol’s EC3, has been crucial for investigating this sophisticated scam. As the central point in Europe for tackling cybercrime, EC3 will continue to proactively support other investigations of this nature.’ said Troels Oerting, Head of the European Cybercrime Centre.

The European Cybercrime Centre has been established to support EU Member States in combating all forms of cyber and online crime. As part of this, EC3 and Visa Europe recently initiated international cooperation between law enforcement agencies and industry, to specifically reduce the level of fraud cased by illegal internet transactions. According to Europol’s recent Situation Report, losses caused by payment fraud in Europe are estimated to cost €1.5 billion a year.

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