WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly 40 people are facing charges of
stealing personal information from unsuspecting Internet users as
part of a global crime ring.
According to indictments unsealed in Los Angeles and New Haven,
Connecticut, the Romanian-based phishing scams sought to rip off
thousands of consumers and hundreds of financial institutions.
More than half of the people charged in today's cases are
Romanian, although the scam allegedly operated from the United
States, Canada, Portugal and Pakistan. Authorities say the cases
are linked by two Romanians who participated in both schemes.
In Los Angeles, 33 people are facing charges that include
racketeering, bank fraud and identity theft. Prosecutors say
phishers in Romania snagged information from people who answered
spam e-mail. The data were then sent to the U.S. and encoded on
magnetic cards that could be used to withdraw money from bank
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