Micro-payment scamsters nuked by FTC

29 June 2010

creditcardsConsumer watchdogs over in the USA have rumbled and killed a four-year scam that was brilliant in its simplicity.

Basically, the con involved loads of low-value payments from compromised credit cards made to a number f dummy firms set up by the crooks, say the Federal Trade Commission.

Instead of going for big-buck transactions, which would invariably get them noticed by the authorities, the fraudsters charge small amounts ranging from $0.25 to $9 to escape being found out.

In addition to this, because of the small size of the payments, customers can't be bothered to go through the hassle of chasing them up to find out what they are. There's not many who will want to dispute a payment of $0.25 is there?

So successful was this scam that the crooks made off with a total of $9.5m.

The Reg reports that the FTC obtained court orders freezing the US assets of suspect firms and went after 14 suspected "money mules" - US residents duped into channelling money between the bogus firms - and the crooks masterminding the con, who used banks in Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Estonia.

Fake businesses were set up which had near-identical names to legit firms, which was backed by the use of real federal tax ID numbers, allowing the scammers to trick credit card processors into giving them merchant accounts.

"It was a very patient scam," Steve Wernikoff, a lawyer at the FTC prosecuting the case. "The people who are behind this are very meticulous."

You'll be pleased to know that, as yet, there's been no reports of any activity in the UK.

TOPICS:   Scams


  • Judgejules
    Give me your credit card details, mothers maiden name, and date of birth and I will look after them for you.
  • greg
    this is the exact sort of crime i'd be alright with going to prison for. wish i'd thought of it, would have stopped at 5 mil
  • Mo
    Bastards i was charged with 3 micro payments to a company called medion and i have received fuck all from them thieving cunt faced twats
  • Medion I.
    Thank you for your custom, please call gagin.
  • Rob
    Isn't this the same premise of the con that Richard Pryor's charactor did in one of the superman films, where he syphoned off all the half cents.
  • Mo
    I shall certainly do so but may I ask who may this gagin person be? can he help resolve my issues?

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