February 13, 2018
Late last week, the U.S. Justice Department announced it has indicted 36 individuals from nearly 20 countries in connection with a cybercrime and fraud organization law enforcement officials said is responsible for more than half a billion dollars in losses by businesses and consumers. “Infraud”—short for “In Fraud We Trust”—was an online forum where members bought, sold or traded information, technology and advice that helped them commit fraud of every type.
Since it was founded in 2010, the indictment said, Infraud has become one of the premier sites on the Internet to obtain stolen identities, compromised payment cards, PII and banking information. The site also offered an escrow service in which it served as a trusted third party that held digital currency during illegal transactions until both buyer and seller were satisfied. Of the 36 people indicted, 13 have been arrested.
Brett Johnson, a former fraudster who spent time in federal prison and ran an Infraud predecessor called Shadowcrew, said while busting Infraud gets some influential bad guys off the street, it may not make an appreciable difference in the amount of fraud merchants face.
“We’re starting to see a shift in the way financial cybercriminals operate online,” Johnson told Card Not Present. “How that shift finalizes is still somewhat in question, but business [for fraudsters] will continue to grow. Bottom line, even with Infraud shutting down, there are enough sources offering enough stolen information to fill any gap they may have left.”