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17 Charged With ID Theft In Arizona, Linked To Foreign Phishers

Posted by iNext - 2005-11-11

A dozen Arizona residents have been arrested and charged with using stolen credit and debit card numbers obtained from overseas phishers, Tucson police said as an indictment was unveiled earlier this week.

The gang -- 17 were named in the indictment, but the remaining five are still at large -- used the card numbers and other personal information supplied by foreign phishers to make counterfeit bank or credit cards, said police and the U.S. Secret Service. They then wired $300,000 -- half of the stolen proceeds -- to their overseas suppliers.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona, the 17 were recruited through Internet chat rooms by scammers in 19 countries, including Australia, Serbia and Montenegro, Mexico, Canada and Russia. The suspects cranked out counterfeit debit and credit cards, then used them to pillage accounts at local ATMs.

The 14 men and 3 women range in ages from 19 to 52, and face conspiracy, fraud, identity theft, and money laundering charges.

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