October 18, 2008

International Fraud Web Site Shut Down

British authorities said a notorious Web site trading in credit card information has been shut down by an international operation.

The British Serious Organized Crime Agency said it arrested people tied to Web site DarkMarket in Leicester, Manchester, Humberside, South Yorkshire and London while intelligence agencies in the United States, Germany and Turkey carried out similar operations, The Times of London reported Friday.

About 60 people were arrested in the four countries during the coordinated operation.

"Darkmarket is a one-stop shop for the online criminal," said Sharon Lemon, deputy director of the Serious Organized Crime Agency. "You can go to the forum and engage in criminal activity quite freely. You can buy any product you want, you can sell any product you want."

Authorities said the Web site specialized in identity-theft related sales, including credit card information and PIN numbers.

The Daily Mail reported the investigation of the Web site started in 2006 when undercover FBI agents in the United States began tracking members of the online community. The agents posed as site administrators to gather details about those who used the site for illegal activities.