Police have broken up an organized crime ring whose members used forged credit cards and driver's licenses to go on shopping sprees around the country and then sold the goods online, prosecutors said Thursday.
Members of the Queens-based ring hacked into retailer databases containing credit card and other personal information of customers, then used that information to manufacture fake documents, said prosecutors, who wouldn't disclose which retailers were targeted.
Teams of shoppers would get on planes in New York and travel to Los Angeles, Chicago, San Antonio, Phoenix and Oklahoma City, where they would buy laptop computers, iPods, flat-screen televisions and expensive handbags, prosecutors said. The shoppers would ship the merchandise back to Queens, where it was resold at a discount on a Web site, they said.
The shoppers went through airport security with the fake driver's licenses, prosecutors said.
NYPD Busts Credit Card Fraud Ring That Went on Shopping Sprees
The raw materials, including the list of credit card numbers and blank credit cards, apparently were obtained by the ring's boss, Kwok Chow, from China, authorities said. The un-embossed cards contained coloring and artwork depicted on genuine cards and included holographic images and other security features.
Chow had a production crew, which manufactured the cards, a shopping crew, which bought the merchandise, and other workers who maintained the Web site, prosecutors said.