Computer Crime Research Center


National Hi Tech Crime Unit Arrests Phishing Gang

Date: June 30, 2005
Source: PC Pro
By: Matt Whipp

If you ever wondered whether the threat of phishing and identity theft is being overblown by security companies, the National Hi Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) has revealed the real cost of these scams, after two men were sentenced for their part in a multimillion pound crime syndicate.

As part of an ongoing investigation into an international crime ring, specialising in identity theft through phishing campaigns, the NHTCU helped arrest US citizen Douglas Havard and British Lee Elwood in Leeds and Glasgow. Havard and Elwood have now been sentenced to six and four years respectively.

The pair were using identity and credit card information sent to them by organised gangs in Eastern Europe which had collected pools of such data through the use of phishing scams. These dupe victims into giving away valuable credentials through the use of spoofed banking and finance sites.

When police raided residences used by the pair, they discovered reams of forged documents for a multitude of identities, forged travellers cheques in euros and dollars, and even credit card holograms and other equipment.

The pair used the information to manufacture credit cards and buy goods online, which they would subsequently sell on online auction sites. They then took a cut of the proceeds before wiring the remainder back to the gangs in Eastern Europe.
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