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More than 2,000 charged with cloning cards and phishing

SANTO DOMINGO. Over the last six years, 2,234 persons , both nationals and foreigners, have been charged with crimes of cloning cards and stealing information and identities through phishing. Just in the latter activity, used to steal money or information of accounts through e-mail or fake Internet pages, made up 72,7% of the cases.

The head of the Specialized Prosecutor against High Technology Crimes, John Henry Reynoso Ramirez, stresses that before February 2013, the date in which his agency was created, few persons were convicted for the two types of crimes cited above, since 97% of the processes reached some sort of conciliation with the banks or the victims and there was no prosecution focused on cybercrimes.

“With respect to the cloning of credit and debit cards, the normal cardholder usually goes to the banks, and this card has insurance, and as long as they pay his money, the cardholder is not interested in pursuing the case. And the banks themselves are not interested in continuing the prosecution of people. From 2007 until the beginning of 2013 only 69 persons were sent to preventive custody for cloning,”the Prosecutor says regretfully.

In a general way, some 1,850 persons charged for high tech crimes and processed by the Specialized Prosecutor over the last eight months are currently in preventive custody and awaiting their judicial processes which could carry sentences of up to 19 years in prison. Another 28 persons were able to obtain a bail bond.

Foreigners who belonged to networks that worked in cybercrimes between 2007 and 2013, whose activities affected the local banks numbered 67 who were charged with cloning credit cards and 60 who were charged with phishing. “Generally here many Haitians, Canadians, Venezuelans and Colombians are arrested,” said Magistrate Reynoso.

There are also criminals of other nationalities. On 27 October 2913, two Bulgarians were arrested in Bavaro accused of placed altered keypads and other apparatus in ATMs in tourist areas in order to get the PIN numbers of the credit or debit cards of the customers in order to clone them, and then make withdrawals. All told, the scam totaled US$200,000.

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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