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Support Center Served Over 2,000 Identity Thieves

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the please-hold-for-next-representative dept.

Crime 25

wiredmikey writes "The operator of an online business that assisted over 2,000 identity thieves in over 5,000 instances of fraud pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire and credit card fraud this week. The Belarus man operated a service that helped fellow online thieves use stolen information by providing English language calling services to trick banks in the United States. The service helped counteract security measures put in place by financial institutions to prevent fraud when account holders try to make transfers or withdrawals from their accounts. In exchange for a fee, the two men provided the services of English- and German-speaking individuals to persons who had stolen account and biographical information to defeat the security screening processes."

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25 comments

In a triumph of leveraging synergies (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326488)

The same support center also provided English speaking individuals to the bank's compliance centers. Eliminating those pesky middle-men that give the fraud industry a bad name.

creators serving infinite # of spirits ~ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326546)

a consensus has been reached. intervention is at hand. see you there?

One down... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326548)

.... 2000 more to prosecute.

Support Centers (4, Funny)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326578)

I'm tired of all these support centers moving overseas. Why can't we keep call centers in the States? Congress should provide incentives to keep these services domestic.

Re:Support Centers (2)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326642)

Yup, the incentive is... stay in the USA or you cant operate.
If our economy is still the largest, companies will adapt to gain our business.

Re:Support Centers (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326722)

I'm not sure that they have to all stay in the country, but what this whole thing really illustrates quite clearly is that it's that much more difficult to ensure that our laws are being respected when the work is being done overseas. The US does not have the power to enforce its laws in India anymore than the French have the right to enforce their laws in Mexico, which leads to all sorts of complications.

Unfortunately even a company that's just looking to cut the cost of labor can find itself in a position where the employees are not complying with the law in the US and have to solve that.

The easiest solution is to just not go offshore, but it isn't the most efficient, given that it's often times quite efficient to have some tech support done on the other side of the world. A problem sent in at just before closing time can be solved and answered somewhat before the customer gets up in the morning without making somebody stay up all night.

Re:Support Centers (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327308)

The answer is simple. Look at the telemarketing industry. Regardless of how offshore they want to make it, the FTC holds the US companies liable for the actions of the foreign companies servicing them. All the FTC cares about is the product that makes the money. The company that owns that product gets "owned" by the FTC.

Just write laws to hold US companies liable for foreign companies they pay to represent them.

Re:Support Centers (2)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35329304)

"this whole thing really illustrates quite clearly is that it's that much more difficult to ensure that our laws are being respected" ...in what country is stealing money by defrauding a bank legal?... it's not like you can't rip people off from a US based call center..

did you read the article?

"This case was a model of international cooperation, and serves as a warning to anyone who thinks they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet and outside the United States to commit fraud. With our partners at the FBI and our law enforcement colleagues around the world, this Office will pursue identity thieves and their co-conspirators wherever they may hide” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara."

" The US does not have the power to enforce its laws in India anymore than the French have the right to enforce their laws in Mexico," we didn't have to use US law, the Czechs, Belarusians and Lithuanians all used their own at the request of the US.

Naskovets was arrested by Czech enforcement authorities for the purpose of extradition on April 15, 2010, at the request of the United States. Also on April 15, 2010, in a joint operation, Belarusian law enforcement authorities arrested Semasko in Belarus, and Lithuanian law enforcement authorities seized the computers on which the site was hosted.

and the perps pled guilty in Manhattan.

Re:Support Centers (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327574)

Large companies will find a way around it. Smaller companies will not be able to compete using those rules. It's always been that way. Look at how Cisco, Microsoft etc. ships stuff to Cuba and Iran, Korea etc. while smaller suppliers that don't have that kind of network get locked out of the business.

All they would have to do is put a few local people that pick up the phone, listen to the person 5 seconds and then say, sorry I can't help you with that, let me connect you to my colleague in India, he'll fix it for you.

Re:Support Centers (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35329036)

Look at how Cisco, Microsoft etc. ships stuff to Cuba and Iran, Korea etc. while smaller suppliers that don't have that kind of network get locked out of the business.

A network? Most likely a trading company that smaller businesses can use as well.
Saudi Arabia does (did?) not like if you did business with Israel and even had a law that would ban you from doing business.
Here is how my dad did business with both countries 20 years ago. (nothing military)
1) Export to Arabic countries directly. Even visit the customers once a year.
2) Have Israeli customers visit him. Sell to a person in Switzerland who sold to Israel.
The Saudis knew this happened. The Israelis knew they had to pay a little bit more to the trader in Switzerland and to have the product shipped through a 'neutral' port so your papers are OK. No problem anywhere for anybody.

If you are a small business that does export and do not know about this, then the problem is your knowledge.

To me that is not a network. It is standard operation for a company that does export. And yes, he worked for a small company with 50 or so employees.
He could have done the same with South Africa or Cuba, but they were not interested in the product.

And if you have a product that is wanted in one of those countries you are not allowed to export to, THEY will come up with a way around it.

Re:Support Centers (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326762)

There is a simple solution, really. Copyright the English language, then license its use. RIAA can give some guidance, perhaps

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Bollocks (2)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327062)

I call shenanigans! No way you can call a support center and get someone who speaks English these days.

Re:Bollocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327536)

I don't think the summary said anything about the quality of the English speaker's skills. I mean, if they guy can say "yes" and "no", and "I'm going to escalate your problem", he'll make a decent "support tech". Ooops, I forgot - he has to be able to say, "Reboot your computer". I've finally broken my ISP's support staff from saying that. Everytime I called to complain about crappy connection, it was "reboot" "reboot" "reboot". I think they recognize my voice now. It's "Are you running Windows? No? Oh - have you tried rebooting the router, and restarting your network services? Alright, I'm going to have you talk to my supervisor, please hold!" They really are trainable!

Re:Bollocks (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35329082)

If you need to call then that many times, you should change providers. I have called mine 2 times for technical reasons.
The first time to get immediately the confirmation something was down and they were looking in on it. The second time because I had an issue with my router, which they helped diagnose the issue was on my side. Even offered to send in the router, so they could look at it, because it was something very uncommon.

That is all in the last 10+ years. The second time I let him do ALL the checks I already did.

And I know from experience that if you do NOT go through these checklists with people on the phone, some will get through and take up useless time for both. One incident where they talked for about 45 minutes trying to get the mail working and all that was forgotten was one question, because the agent was impressed by the customer saying 'I am a network specialist, so don't take me to the scripts. Give me the solution'

Also you said you trained them to not have say reboot, yet they do still that. They just have a new script.
1) No windows? Reboot the router.
2) No success? Escalate.

The fact that you think you did that just shows how a pompous person you are.

Peggy? Is that you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35328214)

They busted Peggy? Outstanding.

High lights a point (1)

Adam Appel (1991764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35328912)

I NEVER give out information over the phone to people that call me our my business. I explain as politely as possible that since I can not verify they are who they say they are (or what company), Ill have to contact them with the number I have on file. Much of they time they try to argue with "but why would I?" or "but I am, you can believe me, Chase bank is a very good bank!". I generally pay my bills on time, so most of the time it's not a big deal, even if I am late on a payment for what ever reason, I know who it is and when the payment is going out.

Re:High lights a point (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35329110)

I assume you are not talking about product information.
This is the ONLY way to go. Even so that if the police calls.

And IF the police calls, only give information if they have the right papers with them (a court order). I have already told police that I would put the information aside and hand it over the moment they have the court order, so their case won't blow up in court, because the evidence is thrown out as being unlawfully obtained. This is how the standard is in Belgium.

Don't forget that they WILL try several times, so be 100% sure that ALL staff is aware of these procedures. Police know about social engineering as well.

throw the book... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337216)

I hope they throw the book at him, even put him to death, it would give a clear picture of those intentionally trying to harm multiple people, that this is a no go zone.

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