Feds bust website that catered to identity thieves
CallService.biz goes dark
Federal prosecutors have brought felony charges against an Eastern European man for running a website that allegedly helped thousands of criminals exploit stolen financial information.
In an indictment unsealed Monday, prosecutors in Manhattan charged Dmitry M. Naskovets with creating and running CallService.biz. The online business supplied identity thieves with English- and German-speaking individuals to call financial institutions and pose as authorized account holders. They would then confirm fraudulent withdrawals, transfers, and other transactions.
CallService.biz, which brazenly advertised its services on other websites, assisted more than 2,000 identity thieves carry out more than 5,000 instances of fraud, prosecutors alleged. The website was founded in June 2007 and remained in operation until earlier this month.
The service was designed to counteract security measures put in place by financial institutions to prevent account fraud. In exchange for a fee, the website took online orders that allowed identity thieves to enter instructions about the fraudulent transaction to be conducted over the phone. The website would then assign the job to an individual who spoke the appropriate language.
Naskovets was provisionally arrested by Czech authorities on April 15 at the request of the United States. On the same date, Sergey Semashko, an alleged co-conspirator of Naskovets, was arrested in Belarus, federal prosecutors said. Both men are Belarusian nationals.
The indictment, filed in US District Court in Manhattan, charges Naskovets with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, he faces more than 39 years in federal prison. Prosecutors also seized the CallService.biz domain name and are also seeking unspecified proceeds from the business. ®