A 29-year-old and a 38-year-old Romanian national was sentenced for committing credit card fraud. The carder duo allegedly bought credit card details from the dark web and used them to commit fraud.
The Romanian nationals were caught by German authorities when they tried to enter the country from the Austrian border on 10 November 2015. The Federal Police found 10 counterfeit Mastercard and Visa credit cards at the previously convicted 29-year-old. He brought the cards from Romania, which he made with a special machine using the information he bought from the dark web. On his laptop, investigators found 250 records of stolen card information and a program designed for making magnetic cards. His partner had similar credit cards with him.
Martin Unterreiner from prosecution said authorities discovered several fraudulent acts committed by the duo. The 29-year old confessed he carded stores in North-Rhine Westphalia Witten, Frankfurt, Giessen, Wetzlar, Egelsbach, Wiesbaden, Bochum, Landau, Huerth and Oberhausen during September and October 2015. The 38-year-old found stores where they could use the credit cards, and marked their locations on Google Maps. The older offender was charged with two unlawful acts, however, there are other offenses waiting for the prosecutor’s approval.
The “wish list” of the carder duo contained expensive perfumes, jewelry, and electronic products. The total goods the criminals successfully bought are estimated to be worth EUR 20,000. However, they failed many times when they tried to card stores for products, including gasoline, for the sum of EUR 50,000. Those stores did not accept the fake credit cards they made.
Investigators found a woman on the 29-year-old’s laptop in contact with the Romanian nationals who has been seen in several stores in Germany trying to pay with fake cards. Police also found a man from Krefeld who is also suspected of helping the carders. Multiple suspects are in custody now.
The 29-year-old and the 38-year-old both admitted their crimes. Both men said they were dealing with financial difficulties and they could not live on their professional income in Romania.
An official from the Bavarian Criminal Police Office explained that cybercriminals can easily buy personal information, including credit card info and bank accounts, and use them to gain money. A police officer from Münich said Krefeld is a center for credit card “skimming” and other fraudulent crimes. According to Attorney Martin Unterreiner, the number of such cases in the area had reduced somewhat, lately.
Both defendants took their time to discuss and think through their confessions. In the end, both carders admitted their crimes. While the 29-year-old was sentenced to five and half years in prison, his older partner has to spend three years in jail. The Romanian nationals both regretted their actions.
The 38-year-old thought his sentencing was appropriate. He was relieved when he decided to confess since his punishment would be more severe. However, Hans-Jörg Schwarzer, the defender of the younger criminal, argued that four years and nine months in prison would have been justifiable for his client.
“You could do more for themselves. But you did not want to,” Judge Dr. Jürgen Zenkel said.