Cops crush $6m credit card racket

| 02.07,09. 01:44 PM |

Cops crush $6m credit card racket

July 02, 2009 12:00am

POLICE say they have cracked a $6 million credit card fraud racket after raiding 11 homes in Sydney and Victoria.

Seven accused fraudsters arrested yesterday were allegedly part of a group which collected legitimate credit card numbers from Spanish operatives, and encoded them on fake credit cards created here.

Detectives from the Australian Federal Police found 1,200 credit card numbers taken from victims overseas had allegedly been replicated in the racket here.

During the raids police seized manufacturing equipment and fake credit cards ready to be used by teams of  "shoppers", allegedly employed by the fraudsters.

The shoppers allegedly bought $500,000 worth of goods per week, including electrical products, alcohol and gift cards, which were then sold on the black market.

Police also seized $1.5 million from false bank accounts, allegedly from the sale of the goods.

Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Mandy Newton said officers worked closely with the Spanish police to bring the syndicate down.

"These credit card numbers are sent using text messaging and phone calls,'' Ms Newton said.

"What we've identified is a global issue not just in Australia.''

She said shoppers who often had fake drivers licences as well would sign to purchase the goods instead of using a pin.

They had allegedly purchased over $6 million worth of goods since March.

Eleven people have been arrested by Spanish police allegedly connected to the syndicate, after five shoppers were arrested here by detectives from the NSW fraud squad on May 26.

Six of those arrested yesterday will appear in court Central local court today and one man will appear in Melbourne Magistrates court on July 11.


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