EBay goes far to fight fraud -- all the way to Romania  

Posted by BlognThings in

By Ian Wylie, Special to The Times
December 26, 2007
RAMNICU VALCEA, ROMANIA -- This small industrial center in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is not Albena Spasova's favorite destination. Driving the twisting highway makes her ill. Once she arrives, danger lurks.

U.S. Secret Service agents escort her, for her safety. Over the last two years, they have kept watch on dozens of trips, some lasting weeks, others months, as she has spent long days foraging through case files with local police and long nights holed up in one of the town's few hotels, with her windows locked.

"You don't know who to trust there. You can't use the hotel phone line. When you step outside, you can spot the local hackers in their cars, circling around," said Spasova, 33. "The Secret Service agents always book my accommodation and make sure I'm in a room next to them."

Ramnicu Valcea is an improbable capital of anything, but this obscure town is a global center of Internet and credit card fraud. And Spasova is an accomplished online fraud buster, helping to take down cyber-crime gangs across Romania. She isn't an FBI agent, though, nor a Romanian police officer.

Spasova works for EBay Inc.

No one, it turns out, does Internet auction fraud like the Romanians. Bulgarians specialize in intellectual property theft; Ukraine is a leader in online credit card crime; the Russians have a profitable niche in Internet dating fraud.

But when it comes to online auctions, particularly for big-ticket items such as cars that can yield $5,000 a scam, Romanians own the game. Romanian police estimate that cyber-crime is now a multimillion-dollar national industry, as important to organized criminals here as drug smuggling or human trafficking.

Read entire article from source --> EBay goes far to fight fraud -- all the way to Romania


Post a Comment

eXTReMe Tracker


Free Advertising