Officers foil fraudsters from stealing €40 million in payment card scam

26 November 2020
Press Release
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90 000 pieces of card data were analysed in the past three months

Carding Action 2020, an operation led by law enforcement agencies from Italy and Hungary and supported by the UK and Europol, targeted fraudsters selling and purchasing compromised card details on websites selling stolen credit card data, known as card shops, and dark web marketplaces.

The operation sought to mitigate and prevent losses for financial institutions and cardholders. Group-IB and card schemes worked in close cooperation with police authorities from the countries involved. During the three-month operation, 90 000 pieces of card data were analysed and prevented approximately €40 million in losses.

Europol facilitated the coordination and the information exchange between law enforcement authorities and partners from the private sector. Europol’s experts provided operational analysis on large volumes of data and supported with expertise in the field of payment card fraud. 

“Cybercrime can affect all aspects of our daily life, from paying in the supermarket, transferring money to our friends to using online communication tools or Internet of Things devices at home. Cybercriminals can attack us in different ways and this requires a robust response not only from law enforcement, but also from the private sector,” said Edvardas Šileris, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). “With more than €40 million in losses prevented, Carding Action 2020 is a great example of how sharing information between private industries and law enforcement authorities is a key in combating the rising trend of e-skimming and preventing criminals from profiting on the back of EU citizens,” he added.

The expansion of e-skimming attacks targeting merchant point of sale systems and e-commerce merchants also influenced the significant increase of prevented losses. As reported in the iOCTA 2020, card-not-present fraud is a criminal threat in constant evolution, generating millions of euros of losses and affecting thousands of victims from across the EU.

Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, we support the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime. We also work with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. From its various threat assessments to its intelligence-gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to do its part in making Europe safer.

EMPACT

In 2010 the European Union set up a four-year Policy Cycle to ensure greater continuity in the fight against serious international and organised crime. In 2017 the Council of the EU decided to continue the EU Policy Cycle for the 2018 - 2021 period. It aims to tackle the most significant threats posed by organised and serious international crime to the EU. This is achieved by improving and strengthening cooperation between the relevant services of EU Member States, institutions and agencies, as well as non-EU countries and organisations, including the private sector where relevant.Cybercrime is one of the priorities for the Policy Cycle.