21 Jun 2018
Police have nabbed scores of individuals they believe are partly responsible for over 20,000 fraudulent transactions worth over EUR8 million.
The fraud was conducted by professional fraudsters, skilled in e-commerce fraud, who set up fake online shops and bought and sold credit card data on the dark web, said Europol.
In a joint crackdown, a number of police forces conducted house searches and interviews, confiscating fraudulently purchased goods, including expensive clothes, as well as electronic devices, card data, cash and drugs.
E-commerce fraud is a concern for authorities, who say roughly 80% of card fraud is conducted online.
A trend involves using social media to set up shops advertising goods at half-price. The ‘shops’ usually have thousands of “happy” customers and receive great reviews.
Victims then make purchases from such websites, without realising that their card data is also being stolen to be then resold by the vendor on another fraud forum.
The stolen card data is often traded on the dark web.
In the end, the banks and the merchants are “the ones suffering the losses of this fraudulent activity, which is up to billions of euros worldwide very year,” said Europol.
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