Romania: 7 Detained in Fake Credit Card Crackdown

Romanian authorities said Thursday seven people were detained on suspicion of committing credit card fraud throughout Europe.

atmphotoPhoto: Peggy_Marco, CC0, pixabayIn the Nov. 9 police operation, supported by Europe's joint police force Europol, officers searched 18 locations across Romania, seizing computers, mobile phones, more than US$ 55,500 in cash and other electronic devices. In the country's northwestern Cluj county, officers also uncovered an illegal factory where they say the group manufactured skimming devices.

Police say that since 2015 the group installed these devices at ATMs and self-service fuel stations in European countries, such as France and Belgium, to record data from the magnetic strip on customers' cards.

The group allegedly used that data to make fake cards and withdraw money from countries outside of the European Union, such as the US, the Philippines, Nepal and Taiwan.

Investigators say another 47 individuals may have been involved with the group's criminal activities.

Those detained are accused of establishing an organized crime group, illegal software and hardware operations, forgery of payment cards, fraudulent financial transactions and money laundering.