February 1, 2007

International Identity Theft Ring Broken in Sacramento

The Placer County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the U.S. Secret Service have arrested a Sacramento and Orange County resident- Tien Nguyen and charged him with operating a sophisticated international identity theft ring. The stolen information was supplied by criminals in Romania who used pop-up ads and “phishing” to acquire sensitive information such as passwords and credit card details. Nguyen then allegedly used computer software and a card reader to “upload” the victim’s identifying information to various magnetic strip cards that could be used for purchases. Authorities believe that Nguyen supplied Stefani Ruland and six others with stolen personal information, which they used to fraudulently obtain Wal-Mart credit cards. They then purchased more than $400,000 in merchandise and gift cards from Wal-Mart stores around the State. All but one of the suspects have pleaded guilty to charges and Nguyen is being held at the Placer County Jail on $1 million bail.

Filed under Legal and Criminal Issues, Romania by

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