US seizes websites in stolen credit card crackdown

April 26, 2012
US authorities have ordered the seizure of 36 websites engaged in selling and distributing stolen credit card numbers, officials said Thursday.

US authorities have ordered the seizure of 36 websites engaged in selling and distributing stolen credit card numbers, officials said Thursday.

Visitors to the website, now in the custody of the federal government, are now greeted by a seizure banner under the FBI and Justice Department operation run in coordination with Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and other international .

Under Operation , made undercover purchases of , at the suspect websites.

The sites are known as Automated Vending Carts, (AVC) which allow visitors to purchase stolen credit card numbers online using a virtual "shopping cart."

The banks that issued the credit card numbers, including , Sun Trust and Capital One, confirmed that the websites were not authorized to sell the numbers. Authorities obtained seizures orders from a federal magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Virginia.

"The websites we are targeting today were commercial outlets for stolen credit card information," Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said in a statement.

"By making this information available on the Internet, these websites facilitated fraud on credit card holders around the world."

Some AVC websites allow buyers to choose the type of credit card number to purchase, along with the account's country of origin and the state in which the account holder lives. Through the sites, sellers can traffic stolen credit card information without communicating directly with buyers.

"Countless lives are thrown into financial turmoil because of these websites," said US Attorney Neil MacBride.

"With a few simple clicks, thousands of stolen credit card numbers can be bought or sold to fraudsters anywhere in the world."

In addition to SOCA, other international partners in the operation included Britain's Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, the Australian Federal Police, the German Bundeskriminalamt, the Macedonian Interior Ministry's Cyber Crime Unit, Ukraine's Internal Affairs Ministry, Romania's Interior Ministry and the Dutch High-Tech .

Explore further: Credit card hacker sentenced to 10 years in prison

Related Stories

Alleged Russian cybercriminal charged in New York court

January 18, 2012

The Justice Department announced indictments against two Russians Tuesday for allegedly hacking into computers of US financial institutions to steal credit card numbers and stock information before running up bills.

Recommended for you

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

The friendly extortioner takes it all

February 15, 2019

Cooperating with other people makes many things easier. However, competition is also a characteristic aspect of our society. In their struggle for contracts and positions, people have to be more successful than their competitors ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.