By Abigail Goldman
Las Vegas Sun
Feb. 15, 2010
The fraud took 48 hours from start to finish - a credit card that was
swiped at a high-end fashion retailer in Las Vegas one day was
counterfeited and being used two days later, often in Greece, Turkey,
Morocco, Germany or Spain.
This is because when the salespeople weren't ringing up customers on the
store computer, they were using it to check e-mail and kill time online.
One quick click, and an employee downloaded a virus that logged
keystrokes and captured credit-card information.
Detectives from Metro's Electronic Crimes Unit eventually traced the
security breach to Romania. Romanian coffee shops, actually, where free
wireless networks meant anonymous hacking. The Metro detectives found
the same ring had cracked into 78 stores across the United States.
Of course, by that time, it was a Secret Service case, so detective Paul
Ehlers doesn't know if the Romanian ring was ever taken down. Or if he
does know, he won't say.
What he will say, however, is this: "It goes on every day."
Metro's Electronic Crimes Unit is seven detectives strong . two work on
child-porn and exploitation cases, the other five work on everything
That everything else ranges from the local and palpable (credit-card
skimmers hidden in gas-station pay pumps) to the murky Internet
intangible (international hackers who are time zones away, hidden behind
strings of 1s and 0s.)
And all of it is on the rise.
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