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French police smash credit card fraud ring

Published: 05 Feb 2013 13:37 GMT+01:00

The suspects, whom police have been investigating since 2011, are alleged to have hacked into websites to obtain credit card details and cloned bank cards at ATM machines. The details were then sold on.

The operation, carried out by 133 police officers, took place in the suburbs of Paris and across France as well as on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

During the raids police seized computers, specialist devices for re-coding magnetic strips, blank bank cards as well as cheque books.

A recent report by France’s national crime observatory (ONDRP) showed that the number of victims of internet credit card fraud in the country had increased sharply.

In 2011 600,000 victims reported they had been targeted compared to 500,000 in 2010.

According to the report, most victims only discovered the frauds when checking their bank statements and many did not report the crimes. Many of the thefts only involved small sums of money, a plan designed to keep the victims in the dark as long as possible.

Of those arrested in this week's operation 15 remain in police custody.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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