The FBI is cracking down on an international identity theft operation that involves the trading of social security numbers, stolen credit cards and phishing, reports the Washington Post. Called Operation Cardkeeper, the investigation has led to arrests of more than a dozen people in the United States and other countries who specialize in “carding,” the trafficking of stolen identities and credit card and bank account information.
Investigators said some members of the criminal rings purchased data that was electronically copied from the magnetic strip on the back of credit or debit cards and used the information to create counterfeit cards for cash withdrawals and retail purchases. Others sold Social Security numbers and other personal data through online carder forums. Arrests were made in Ohio and Georgia, and authorities served search warrants in Albany, N.Y.; Atlanta; Dallas; Knoxville, Tenn.; Memphis; and Omaha. The FBI also assisted in the arrests of 11 people in Poland.