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FBI snags 100 people in global identity-theft scheme

More than 50 people have been indicted in Southern California, Las Vegas and Charlotte, N.C., in connection with a "phishing" scheme to steal bank account information from thousands of victims in the United States, an FBI spokeswoman said.

The federal indictment, which is due to be unsealed today, names 53 indicted suspects as well as 47 unindicted co-conspirators from Egypt, said Laura Eimiller, the FBI spokeswoman.

Among those named in the indictment are suspects from Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties.

The suspects are accused of posing as legitimate bank representatives and sending e-mails to victims, seeking to "update" their records. After the victims would send their personal information, the suspects allegedly withdrew money from their bank accounts.

Eimiller said Egyptian authorities would be seeking charges against the suspects from that country.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Keith B. Bolcar, acting assistant director in charge of the FBI in Los Angeles, presides over a multi-agency news conference to announce federal indictments and dozens of arrests in the United States and overseas in connection with a sophisticated identity-theft ring. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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Comments () | Archives (11)

I am so glad they're finally doing something about all those scum bags that make other people's lives miserable. I just hope they get a lengthy sentence to serve as deterrents to other thieves.

Good Job

This is great news. I'm glad that these scammers will go to prison.

10-4 I get a scads of these and report each and every one to the bak through their real web sites.

You should too, it is the only way we can help fight these sort of people! There are more of us than them!

FYI Video posted on www.scorpio-security.com regarding ATM card thefts along with other uncensored bank robbery information.

If they had a phishing license I don't see any crime in what these men did. As long as people go through the right protocols, than they should rightly be able to do what they want to do -- from driving to flying to phishing.

They should make it illegal for them to touch a computer keyboard, like a parolee can't buy a gun, hang out with the wrong crowd, same should apply to these guys, I've wasted 10,000 clicks in my life deleting their crap

Congratulations on a job well done and THANK YOU, FBI and local law enforcement! I hope an example will be made out of them by putting them away long enough so as not to be able to hurt anyone ever again. They've destroyed many lives, it's now time to destroy theirs.

good start. Throw the book at them. now go after the authors of malicious viruses.

This is the tip of the iceberg. Problem is our society which encourages - not just finds it legal - to put too much personal info "out there" in cyberspace for the profit of search firms and other companies without our knowledge or permission. Just from public records posted, Anyone can find out your DOB, address and phone, your properties and financials with relative's names, often Social Security numbers. Then there are "ancestry" websites. These make it easy for anyone to impersonate you - if they get all the info but SS, and have your email (also listed usually) they send an email to the vulnerable and get the last piece.

But crooks don't have to go through the internet even: video rentals shops ask for your License # which has DOB, anyone can obtain/ buy that info from any employee. Other stores are the same.

The worst and most common of course are doctor's offices, pharmacies, as well as hospitals where now putting all our info in computerized form means ALL of this info is available at a glance to ANYONE, and staffs are used to not respected our privacy whatever they officially claim.

Banks and financial services companies put everything online or on a disc that can be stolen, and often is. There's WAY too much free info out there .

THAT is where enforcement should start: changing our laws about easy and even free access to this.

It was one thing in the pre-digital age where someone had to go physically to a county clerk's office and look up records, but now companies do that on everyone just to sell it to: your busybody neighbor who wants to know how old you are, a stalker, an ID thief.

I agree these scammers need to pay for the millions of dollars stolen by con artists from us.The question arises though, we are just as guilty in that we want to get something for little or nothing. We see that carrot dangling in front of us in an email, which I did several years ago when I was in a deep financial bind, and we want it. We desire to get out of our bind no matter what. I never gained any money nor did I lose any except for some fake checks which I tried to cash. After a time of this my bank closed my account and my email provider froze my email address. When I came to my senses I began to research scams and ended up writing a self-help guide called 'Scammers Among Us Beware'. This is a compilation of data from agencies in the USA, Canada, the UK, and Interpol. This is a how to, how not to, what to do if, and who to contact if. You may view this book, published by Eloquent Books, on Amazon.com, BN.com, and Eloquent Books.com. We all need a tool that will help us avoid scammers. Don't just take my word for it. Please check it out for it just might save you and yours your bankroll. Thank you.


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