Men charged over credit card theft scheme

18 August 2009

Authorities in the US have charged three men with stealing 130 million credit and debit card numbers.

Albert Gonzalez and two unnamed Russian co-conspirators have been accused of hacking in to the payment systems used by a number of retailers, including the 7-Eleven convenience store chain.

The trio are alleged to have stolen the data in order to sell it on, enabling others to make fraudulent purchases.

Prosecutors stated that they would scout retail locations to gather information such as the type of checkout machines in use, before uploading the information onto a server.

"These servers, located in New Jersey and around the world, were used by the co-conspirators to store information critical to the hacking schemes and subsequently to launch the hacking attacks," the authorities said in a statement.

If found guilty, each of the three faces up to 35 years in prison, according to Reuters.

In related news, the Financial Services Authority was recently urged to issue further guidance on credit card fraud by consumer group Which?.

Written by Claire Archer

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