May 26, 2024

Columbus Post

Complete News World

Fraud from China: Victims include thousands of Swiss nationals

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WebsiteThousands of Swiss people have been victimized by a massive fake shop network

A criminal group in China has stolen double-digit millions from around 76,000 fake stores on the Internet. Most of the victims are from Europe.

  • Several media outlets work together to uncover the largest network of online fake shops to date.

  • The China-based group runs about 76,000 fake online stores, and about 14,000 orders were placed through stores in Switzerland.

  • Customers’ credit card details are collected and used for further criminal activity.

According to a media report, a group of criminals in China is behind a global network of tens of thousands of fake shops on the Internet. As the Hamburg portal “Zeit Online” reported on Wednesday, the organization is responsible for more than 76,000 faulty shops and damages in the double-digit million range. In total, fraudsters are said to have harmed around 850,000 victims worldwide. This is probably the largest known network of such fraud sites. In Switzerland, a total of 14,000 orders were placed through stores.

According to “Zeit Online”, the false websites imitate the online offerings of major fashion brands such as Adidas or Nike. No one who orders there receives the goods. The starting point for the research was the internal documents and technical data of the alleged criminals, which the IT security company SR Labs found and handed over to “Zeit”. The French newspaper “Le Monde” and the British “Guardian” were also involved in the research.

Credit card information collected

According to “Zeit Online”, in addition to employment contracts and financial documents, the data set includes the fraudsters’ training documents and manuals. They show that criminals create such fake stores often automatically and on an industrial scale. The portal suggests that brands, products and prices can be selected in minutes with just a few clicks. At the same time, the developers made their infrastructure available to other groups that used it.

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According to the report, the main group is located in the port city of Fuzhou in southeast China. Criminals don’t just try to blackmail victims. “They seem to collect all credit card data to use for other criminal transactions,” said Matthias Marks from SR Labs “Zeit Online”. 476,000 credit card numbers, including names and addresses, and a three-digit security number were found in the data sets.

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(AFP/jar)