Romanian and French law enforcement authorities, supported by theEuropean Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, have successfully dismantled a Romanian organised crime group involved in international payment card skimming and associated fraud.
During a raid on 17 January 2014, 11 suspects were arrested as they planned to travel to Italy to commit skimming attacks. Among them was the leader of the criminal group as well as the financers. In addition, 26 premises were searched and illegal equipment seized. Police also dismantled two factories producing skimming devices, including sophisticated miniaturised versions. This activity followed an earlier week-long surveillance exercise carried out by French and Romanian law enforcement officers.
Organised criminal groups are always looking for new global opportunities to make money, especially in the criminal market of payment card fraud. According to Europol research conducted among EU card fraud investigators, the main challenge for law enforcement agencies in combating this type of crime is its cross-border nature. Operations such as this highlight the importance of using Europol’s secure tools for exchanging intelligence, and for coordinating the crucial operational stages involved in complex international cases.
For information on how to minimise your chances of becoming a victim of payment card fraud, please visit our Crime Prevention Advice page.