A fraud ring that had been stealing consumers’ credit card information since 2001 was finally broken up after a lengthy investigation.
The Justice Department said that it has apprehended 38 people who were involved in a criminal conspiracy to steal credit card numbers and use them to purchase airline tickets. The criminals would then resell the tickets at heavily discounted prices between $75 and $200 to customers who knew their flights were illegally acquired. Among those indicted were people who ripped off consumers’ credit card numbers from their employers – two worked at hotels, one at a bank and another at a call center.
The crime has defrauded airlines, financial institutions, merchants and cardholders for more than $20 million in nine years. Victims hailed from 27 states, Washington, D.C. and Saskatchewan, the Justice Department said.
According to a report from Kansas City television station KMBC, the scam involved buying tickets for flights out of Kansas City’s international airport to destinations like Atlanta, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago, and several in both California and Florida.