Safe from Scams: Fake credit cards and drivers licenses are a big business for con-men

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fake credit cards and phony driver's licenses continue to be big business for con-artists. Authorities caught up with one group of thieves who ripped off millions of dollars in merchandise.

Federal agents used surveillance photos while tracking a suspect involved in a $30-million fraudulent credit card scheme. Investigators said several men ran an online one-stop shop selling counterfeit cards to other criminals.

The business came tumbling down after one man was arrested with a piece of fake identification.

"When asked where he got these credit cards that were authentic looking as if they were legitimate, he stated he got them from a website," said Randy Berkland, US Postal Inspector.

The website was called and it offered credit cards delivered in just 24 hours.

"They had dozens and dozens and dozens of authentic looking credit cards that you could order. He told me you could either order blank credit cards or you could pay additional money and the website would emboss the credit cards for you," said Berkland.

The site was accessed by criminals looking to buy counterfeit credit and debit cards, as well as holographs used to make fake driver's licenses.

"They typically bought stolen card numbers from hackers, through websites or peer to peer chat programs. If they found a particular person that was selling them, they are really not too difficult to find on the black market," said Berkland.

The ring leader, Sean Roberson, was successful.

"Made over a million dollars from this website in roughly a year and a half. He was able to pay workers to do a lot of the labor for him," said Berkland.

Credit card fraud affects all consumers. The most important thing to do is monitor your credit reports.

"Reviewing your statements, securing your mail, checking your mail daily, contacting law enforcement if you suspect you have any unauthorized charges on your credit cards."

The suspect in our story was sentenced to more than six years in prison and was also ordered to pay over $3.5 million in restitution.
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