Prosecutors at the Sibiu Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigation Department (DIICOT) dismantled a criminal organisation specialising in computer fraud which incurred estimated damages of EUR 120,000. They conducted more than 21 home searches in the counties of Sibiu, Cluj, Arad, Valcea, and the capital city Bucharest. The nearly 25-member-strong ring recruited its victims from among online buyers. A number of 130 foreign citizens have been conned by fraudsters involved in bogus sales of IT equipment, mobile phones, and ever farming equipment and cars. “Our action had the goal of dismantling an organised crime set up to commit computer fraud. Their method has become classical by now: sham auctions on various websites,” Mediafax quoted Cristian Negru, head of the Alba Iulia Computer Crime Crackdown Service, as saying. According to the source quoted, the perpetrators sent product images to the damaged parties and demanded either a down payment or the full amount of the product. According to Negru, the criminal group was formed through the merger of two previous networks. “The leaders of the two groups decided it would be a lot more profitable to work together, rather than separately, to exchange the banking accounts under their control. They established a commercial enterprise and a website specialising in cleaning products and offering fictitious cleaning services,” Negru also said.
A number of 24 people, some of whom women, were charged at the DIICOT Sibiu office yesterday, all of them with computer crime records. If found guilty, they are liable to go to prison for 10 to 20 years.