US, Romania Bust Online Fraud Ring

A collaboration between U.S. and Romanian law enforcement agencies has disrupted an ongoing Internet fraud scheme conducted by several networks of organized cyber criminals, including more than a hundred recent arrests and searches in Romania, the FBI announced.

According to U.S. court documents, conspirators in Romania would post items for sale such as cars, motorcycles and boats on websites and online auctions. Interested buyers were instructed to wire transfer the purchase money to a fictitious name they claimed to be an employee of an escrow company. But after submitting payment, victims never received the items they thought they had bought.

The FBI said victims lost an estimated $10 million. However, the full loss amount and identification of additional victims is ongoing, the bureau said.

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