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Feds nail blank credit card vendors with $34 million fraud charges

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Credit Cards Seized by the Department of Justice
Credit Cards Seized by the Department of Justice

Today, federal prosecutors announced charges against three men accused of running the website, selling blank credit cards and holographic overlays as the raw materials for credit card fraud. For as little as $12 dollars, customers could buy a blank card and imprint it with the personal details of identity theft victims. US Attorney Paul J. Fishman described the site as a crucial link in the economy of identity theft, saying, "This made-to-measure service provided the last link in the chain necessary for criminals to make money from stolen credit card numbers and identities."

All told, US attorneys estimate the site was responsible $34.5 million worth of fraud since the business launched in April of 2011, filling nearly 70,000 credit card orders and shipping more than 3,600 parcels through the US mail. It was the Postal Service that finally revealed the fraud, after the packages attracted the attention of postal inspectors. Payments on the site were initially made through Liberty Reserve, an anonymous currency that was shut down by federal agents in May of 2013. When the warrants were served, seven months later, the website was advertising Bitcoin as its preferred means of payment.