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U.S. authorities broke up overseas cybercrime ring

Americans may have been taken for more than $3 million

Some international cybercriminals have been taken out, thanks to U.S. authorities.

Yesterday, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said authorities had broken up an international cybercrime ring that may have cheated Americans out of more than $3 million through false online advertisements of luxury items like cars, such as Lexuses and BMWs, boats and motorcycles.

Authorities arrested seven individuals yesterday—six of whom are Romanian citizens. Officials in Romania, the Czech Republic, the U.K. and Canada were all involved in arresting the criminals.

“As alleged, the defendants ran a sophisticated fraud scheme that used the Internet to reach across the globe and into the homes of unsuspecting Americans,” Lynch told the Wall Street Journal. “They utilized high-tech counterfeiting techniques to create an aura of online legitimacy. This virtual con game nevertheless cost Americans real money.”

According to authorities, the schemers used false names, advertising the luxury items valued between $10,000 and $45,000. They corresponded with victims via email and provided them with false certificates of title to convince them the sales were legitimate, prosecutors said.

A cooperating witness who opened U.S. bank accounts to receive and transfer funds to the criminals overseas helped bring the cyber ring down, according to authorities. U.S. authorities said they will seek extradition of the defendants arrested abroad.

Read more about this story in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

For more InsideCounsel stories about cybercrime, see:

Manhattan DA receives $4.2 billion to build cybercrime lab

The top cybercrime risks for businesses

FBI warns U.S. business of new Chinese cybercrime scheme

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Cathleen Flahardy

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