Cops Claim Victory After Busting $1m Phone Fraud Ring: Twelve defendants have been charged with offenses relating to $1m smartphone fraud ring in which around 3300 customers accounts were authorized illegally.
This massive fraud campaign is said to date back to at least 2014. These members would hijack the customer accounts using credentials either phished or bought on the dark web, or even fake ID in the store.
They would probably buy new devices or upgrade in-store, which charges the majority of the cost back to the customer’s account. Some of them opened fresh accounts using victim’s Social Security Numbers. The devices were sold on profit in the Bronx, according to the Department of Justice.
During the Investigation, a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) team searched a property in MT Vernon, Ney York where six of the 12 defendants were found along with the electrical devices. The investigators have claimed that two IP addresses were found that has accessed around 3300 smartphone customer accounts and fraudulently purchase at least 1294 devices.
The 11 computers that were seized which contained evidence of a 15-minutes “how to” video on smartphone fraud, which indicates that they would been used to visit the dark web sites and various Google searchers which do relates to the fraud.
Each of these 12 have been successfully charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft, which could of course land them a sentence of around 20 years or above.
“Those arrested today were allegedly part of a fraud network operating in New York, the Dominican Republic and the Darknet. Their activities left a trail of unsuspecting victims across the United States and cost business significant losses,” said HSI special agent in charge, Angel Melendez.
“They traveled to 30 states to obtain the cellphones that were later sold through fencing operations in the Bronx. Telecommunications fraud is a huge business and where there is a profit to be made by criminals, HSI’s longstanding EI Dorado Task Force will follow the money to bring those perpetrators to justice.”