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$30 Million Credit Card Scam Busted in Romania

By Alex Johnston
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 29, 2012 Last Updated: December 2, 2012
Related articles: World » Asia Pacific
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Visa and MasterCard credit card logos on a sign in Washington on March 30, 2012. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Visa and MasterCard credit card logos on a sign in Washington on March 30, 2012. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Australian authorities Thursday said seven people were arrested in Romania in connection with the largest credit card scam in Australian history.

The criminal organization was able to access some 500,000 Australian credit cards and used around 30,000 of them for fraudulent transactions worth more than $30 million, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a release.

The gang used credit card data to create false cards to conduct a number of illegal transactions in the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Europe, and other places, AFP said.

In all, 16 people were detained and 7 were arrested and now face charges, resulting in the syndicate being shut down, which was the culmination of joint efforts by AFP and Romanian authorities.

“Without the cooperation of 13 other countries, along with Australia’s banking and finance sector, we would not have been able to track these illegal transactions to the criminal network in Romania. Today’s successful outcome is a culmination of 17 months of hard work with these partners,” Glen McEwen, the head of AFP’s cybercrime force, said in a statement.

The majority of businesses targeted in the scam were small businesses, service stations, gas stations, corner stores, and other small enterprises, the force told CNN.

Heather Wellard, with the Australian Bankers’ Association, told the network that actually “no cardholder lost money” in the scam, citing Australia’s “very good consumer protection.”

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