Police in Uttar Pradesh, India, recently discovered a group of “techies and students” that bought and sold credit card numbers. The group used the stolen credit cards to buy expensive items on the internet. And then resold them at low prices to their friends.
A Special Task Force (STF) of UP Police found the group while investigating fraud for an online retailer. Bulk transactions had been made with cards from an international bank. An investigation into the international card use led police to a group of people who created a network of crime.
UP STF Superintendent Triveni Singh explained that the techies and groups of students bought credit cards from sources on the darknet. The unquantified number of suspects were aged between 16 and 25-years-old and were considered experienced at their craft. “These criminals have made it a full-time business and also created a closed member data sharing network,” Singh explained.
“Security agencies claim that international customers’ credit card details are available on the darknet and some open forums, which are leaked by international hackers by compromising card number, CVV and expiry date,” India Today explained.
The group then bought the “latest gadgets, expensive electronics, cosmetics and air ticket and sell them at attractive prices to their close friends or acquaintances,” Singh explained to one news source. Officials revealed that the group used websites and social networks to advertise the products and never transacted or marketed their goods offline.
This network, according to the police, is spread throughout India. The group operated from several cities and are able to market several different types of products through social networks and messenger applications. An officer told Mail Today that they advertised their service by explaining the buying through their portal versus buying from the original seller. One example he gave involved iPhones. They sold iPhones valued at Rs. 76,000 for only Rs. 25,000. Roughly $1100 to $387.
Another example was Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV which sold at a similarly low discount. “It’s mostly young students who are their customers and who like the latest mobiles, cameras and other electronic appliances,” an officer explained. “Using stolen cards they buy these products from shopping portals and then pass on to the end customer at cheaper rates.”
The cards were mostly been stolen from banks in Washington, New Jersey, and Ohio. Authorities found cards from Australia and several European countries too. Suspects have been identified in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Hyderabad.