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Police cuff 70 eBay fraud suspects

Scams caused €800,000 losses

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Romanian police have arrested 70 suspected cybercrooks, thought to be members of three gangs which allegedly used compromised eBay accounts to run scams.

The alleged fraudsters obtained login credentials using phishing scams before using these trusted profiles to tout auctions for non-existent luxury goods (luxury cars, Rolex watches and even a recreational aircraft). Buyers handed over the loot but never received any goods in return.

The 800 victims of the scam are estimated to have suffered €800,000 in losses since 2006. Victims were located across Western Europe, Scandinavia, the US, Canada and New Zealand.

Complaints from the victims led to a joint FBI and Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) investigation culminating in the execution of 101 search warrants and multiple arrests across Romania on Tuesday.

A police video of one of the raids can be found here. More on the background to the case can be found on Gary Warner's CyberCrime & Doing Time blog here.

A Romanian police statement on the bust, part of Operation Valley of the Kings, can be found here (in Romanian). ®

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