Phishing sites

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Ever wondered, "where" thieves put some of the stolen debit and credit card numbers, they get from phishing scams?  There are storage sites. Many of them, according to the National White Collar Crime Center.

A local businesswoman found her sensitive information on one and called 12 on Your Side for help getting the website shut down. Charmaine Richardson says every dime her business has, was linked to that debit card number - which mysteriously, showed up on a website, maintained and operated by crooks.

"It would be devastating, devastating," said Charmaine Richardson, owner of Brandi Bianca's Boutique.

It was by chance, playing around on the computer, that business woman; Charmaine Richardson found her sensitive information, in the hands of crooks. She googled her address, and pulled up everything a thief needs to clean out her business bank account.

"So I opened the link and it had the entire credit card number, my entire address, the expiration date of the credit card," said Charmaine.

Her 16 digit bank number and, multiple pages of the same type sensitive bank information on about one thousand other people, here and across the country. Charmaine called police, her bank and the FBI but was disappointed, she says, in the FBI's response.

"I want it down. I want it down," Charmaine said. "They just didn't tell me what to do with it. They didn't seem too concerned and that bothered me."

We called the National White Collar Crime Center and were told these sites; called dumping grounds are not all that unusual. Crooks create domains to store stolen credentials.  A select group of criminals with access pass it along to others.

"You know in stealing someone else's loot. Instead of having stored in text files like this it's the fishing sites will email the information to an account somewhere," said Nick Newman, Computer Crime Specialist.

Lucky for Charmaine, she recently canceled her account because of suspicious activity, after purchasing online, so this information is dormant. She worries though, about all the other names, and information for the taking.

"The concern was no longer for me because my card had been replaced. It was to make sure that these people information was protected," said Charmaine.

We got the website shut down. The National White Collar Crime Center informed us, earlier today, of the FBI's decision.

"It could do a lot of damage," said Charmaine.

To avoid becoming a victim, computer crime specialist, Nick Newman says, don't click on, any of those phishing links and remember your bank will never send you an e-mail asking for your bank account information.

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