Credit Card cloning has been in the cybercrime world for quite some time now and even though efforts have been made to try and stop this act, such as alerts whenever an authorized charge appears on your card, cybercriminals have diverted their attention to devising new means to overcome these boundaries of security measures. The new thing in town is the opening of new credit cards in the victim’s name which is difficult to detect.
A recent survey from Javelin Strategy & Research revealed that this “new account fraud” has increased immensely with the numbers rising from 13% in 2015 to bagging over 20% of all fraud losses in its pocket.
Losses resulting from fraud and unauthorized transactions from new account fraud has risen from $2 billion to $3 billion dollars and from the look of things, these numbers are going to continue growing higher and never look back since cloned credit cards fraud are still happening on a daily basis.
The latest news is two students bought fraud credit cards on a dark web marketplace using Bitcoin and are not recipients of jail sentences for their role in a fraud committed against the railway network. According to the Blackfriars Crown Court, the two culprits, Edwin Sarpong, a 25-year-old of Broadstone House, Dorset Road in South Lambeth and Joseph-Brown, also 25 years old who hails from Upper Sydenham, used the cloned cards they bought on the dark web to purchase top-up cards for phone devices, gift cards and pre-paid cards which they could cash on later.
The duo was convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation at Blackfriars Crown Court on the 19th of December with Edwin Sarpong getting a 15-month prison sentence whiles Joseph-Brown was jailed for two years.
An operation dubbed Operation Moonshine, which was part of a British Transport Police investigation was what lead to the detection of the fraud. This was after Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) was notified about a large number of transactions being charged back to their company by various credit card companies.
It was then uncovered that numerous tickets were bought with compromised cards where the individual used a swipe card and signed a receipt instead of a chip and pin.
What followed subsequently was the various credit card companies claiming their money back from the train operator on the simple basis of the transaction being a fraudulent one.
This led to a raid at the homes of the suspects by the British Transport Police on the 26th of April 2016. They seized over thousands of pounds worth of cash held in a Louis Vuitton designer bag. A bunch of cards with magnetic strips were also taken into custody.
Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the cards seized had the magnetic strips because they had been reprogrammed with stolen credit card details from Canadian based companies as well as the United States. It was also revealed that these stolen card details were purchased on the dark web with Bitcoin.
Two other men were also arrested and jailed for their role in this fraud. 25-year-old Olakunle Akinnugba and Olabode Akinnugba, both 26 from Clemence Road, Dagenham were handed a two-year jail sentence each after they were also convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, the same offense as Sarpong and Joseph-Brown.
The culprits committed fraud which was worth over £54,000 between October 2015 and April 2016.
Credit Card fraud in the UK is becoming rampant and according to Campaign group Financial Fraud Action UK, an organization which leads the collective battle against financial fraud for the UK payments industry, someone falls victim to this type of fraud on an average of every four minutes in the UK and this adds up to over £47 million in fraud losses annually.
Detective Con Keef Cook, who was the investigating officer on the case stated after the sentencing that the sentences which were given by the court are a clear indication of how these offenses are taken seriously.
“This does not affect only the companies that issue the genuine credit card details but the holders of these genuine credit cards who then have to deal with the stress and worry of having fraudulent transactions occur on their accounts through no fault of their own,” he stated.