A multi-agency strike force has shut down an illegal credit card manufacturing operation in Sydney overnight, potentially halting AU$5 million in fraudulent transactions.
The strike force, consisting of members from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the NSW Police Force, NSW Roads and Maritime Services and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, has been operating since April last year.
On Wednesday night, officers from the Identity Security Strike Team executed search warrants at two properties in the Sydney suburb of Ryde, arresting one man and seizing the equipment necessary to create fake identities and cards. According to the strike force, the criminals were using the fake cards to launder money.
Officers seized more than 2000 blank credit cards for all four major Australian banks, a number of blank Medicare cards, 500 NSW driver licences and AU$25,000 in cash. A large number of the blank cards appear to have EMV chip technology present.
One of the 11 charges laid against the man arrested was that of "using a telecommunications network with intent to commit a serious offence".
Underground carding forums have become an easy method for criminals to bulk purchase credit card numbers, sometimes even complete with online support, in order to create valid cards or use in online card-not-present payments.