US, Egypt authorities smash phishing racket
Los Angeles, October 8, 2009
US and Egyptian authorities have smashed a computer 'phishing' fraud seen as the biggest cyber crime in US history, reports said.
US officials arrested 33 people and Egyptian authorities charged 47 others in the case, in which an elaborate scam bilked bank customers out of at least $1 million.
The US arrests were mostly in Southern California, Nevada and North Carolina, said an AP report.
Alll the US suspects were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, which potentially carry up to 20 years in federal prison.
According to the indictment, hackers in Egypt worked with cohorts in the US to collect bank account information, then illegally accessed those accounts and transferred money to newly created fraudulent accounts.
FBI Special Agent Jason Smolanoff said there were thousands of victims in the US. The amount of cash stolen was somewhere between $1 million to $2 million, primarily from Bank of America and Wells Fargo accounts, the report said.