FYI...29 charged in Chicago with 'cracking cards' bank fraud
Oct 29, 2014 - "Twenty-nine people in the Chicago area face state or federal charges for involvement with a bank fraud scheme
known as 'cracking cards', which found participants through rap music and social media, prosecutors said on Wednesday. The multimillion-dollar scheme, which started on Chicago's South Side about three years ago, involved recruiting bank customers to give up their debit cards and PIN numbers with the promise of making fast cash, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago said. Bank customers were recruited at parties, schools, on the street or through social media such as Instagram and Facebook, prosecutors said. The scheme, which has been seen in other areas of the country, is also known as 'card popping'. After the defendants got the cards and information, they made or bought counterfeit checks to deposit into the accounts, waited for the amount to be credited, and then withdrew money. Four defendants called themselves the "R.A.C.K. Boyz" or "Rack Boyz." They have Facebook and Twitter accounts and posted videos on YouTube, including a rap video called "For the Money," which refers to "cracking cards" and shows large amounts of cash, prosecutors said... One defendant, Matthew Mosley, 26, of Chicago, made counterfeit checks that he used and sold to others, prosecutors said. He was one of 16 people charged in Chicago with federal bank fraud
for causing more than $1.7 million in bank losses. Ten of the defendants are still at large. Citibank, U.S. Bancorp, JP Morgan Chase & Co , Bank of America Corp and others were identified as victims of the scheme. Persons whose bank cards were used may also be victims if the bank made them pay the money back
, or if they were promised money they didn't get..."
___Two Charged in $5.8M reloadable Debit Card Extortion Scam
Oct 28, 2014 NEWARK, N.J. – "Two Philadelphia men were arrested this morning for allegedly conspiring to extort victims to load prepaid debit cards
with funds that were stolen as part of the scheme, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Special agents of the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested Alpeshkumar Patel, 30, and Vijaykumar Patel, 39, of Philadelphia at Vijaykumar Patel’s home on a complaint charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud
. The pair, who are not related, are expected to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court.
According to the complaint unsealed today:From September 2013 through March 2014, Alpeshkumar Patel and Vijaykumar Patel were part of a conspiracy to steal money using reloadable debit cards. First, the conspirators would purchase reloadable Green Dot Cards, and register them in names other than their own. The conspirators – some of whom were located in India – contacted victims by phone and used threats or deceit to induce them to put money on MoneyPak cards, which are used along with assigned PIN codes to add funds to Green Dot Cards. The conspirators then used the reloadable cards to purchase money orders that were deposited into bank accounts. All of the steps were taken quickly so law enforcement and victims could not identify the conspirators or prevent or reverse the fraudulent transfers. As one example, a retail store located in New Jersey received a telephone call from an unknown caller on Sept. 10, 2013. The caller said there was a bomb in the store and the store manager had five minutes to comply with the caller’s demands or the bomb would detonate. The caller then demanded the manager load 10 $500 MoneyPak cards and provide the caller with the associated PIN codes. The manager had provided the code for one card before law enforcement arrived at the store, instructed the manager to hang up the phone, and evacuated the building.
The $500 associated with that code was transferred to an existing prepaid reloadable Green Dot Card. Surveillance video showed Alpeshkumar Patel in the Philadelphia CVS where the Green Dot Card was bought. That card was then used by Vijaykumar Patel, who was caught on video purchasing two money orders in a Philadelphia Wal Mart. The money orders, in turn, were used to deposit funds into a bank account.
Phone numbers and IP addresses associated with the Sept. 10, 2013, call and other calls tied to the conspiracy were tied to approximately 2,500 Green Dot Cards that were funded in excess of $5.8 million..."