Authorities Bust European Crime Network Taking Advantage of 3D Printing Technology for Credit Card Fraud

Share this Article

Highly sophisticated European criminals have been using 3D printers to operate on the wrong side of the law. In recent days authorities in Spain and Bulgaria took down organized crime members who hatched and executed a plan to gain financial information illicitly and print fake cards to remove illegal funds from ATMs. They also 3D printed equipment to manufacture fake plastic card slot bezels to be installed on ATMs and to manipulate POS terminals.

european police

Running this operation in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and Turkey, the criminal network was involved in:

  • ATM skimming
  • Electronic payment fraud
  • Forgery of documents

3d printed cardsCalled ‘Operation Imperium,’ Spanish and Bulgarian authorities, collaborating with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) in The Hague, searched 40 homes and made 31 arrests involving individuals running eight different labs. They confiscated over one thousand devices, with items including:

  • Computers
  • 3D printers
  • Phones
  • Flash drives
  • Micro camera bars
  • Card readers
  • Magnetic strip readers
  • Plastic card templates

In recent years, there have been arrests similar to this. With weapons and drug trafficking highest on the list of crime issues, credit card scamming has always been a pesky thorn in the side as well. Criminals have used 3D printing to manufacture items for credit card fraud, guns, and even smaller items such as keys for anything you can imagine, including police handcuffs. To take things further, and in line with the ‘sharing’ and ‘community’ of 3D printing, they have even gone so far as to post their 3D printing designs online so that anyone can take part in illicit activity.

oerting

Troels Oerting, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3),

The Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), Troels Oerting, is congratulating the law enforcement colleagues in Bulgaria and Spain for their excellent work in disrupting this crime ring. He stated:

“We’ve hit another international organised payment crime network, which sends a strong signal to cybercriminal groups active in this field. This is a great example of effective joint efforts between EU Member States and EC3 to protect customers and their electronic transactions across the European Union. It also shows that police as well as other law enforcement authorities in the EU are putting Europol’s unique tools to very good use to make electronic payment transactions safer. At the same time this successful case proved a very good use of the J-CAT framework which helped in the final stages of investigation.”

While credit card fraud, skimming, theft, and similar crimes have us all watching our wallets, online accounts, and guarding our PIN numbers, there’s only so much we can do to protect ourselves. Criminals are unpredictably creative–and resourceful in getting what they want. Unfortunately, 3D printing is an equal opportunity outlet for revolutionizing different sectors, and organized crime has the funds and the motivation to master and take advantage of new technology. Have you heard of any scams like this in your area? Tell us about it in the European Crime Network forum at 3DPB.com.

EC3

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Carbon Fiber 3D Printing: Arevo Announces Pre-Orders for 3D Printed Electric Bikes

MDA and Burloak to Make 3D Printed Space Satellite Parts



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

Logitech and Realize Medical Partner to Enhance Medical VR

Canadian medical virtual reality (VR) startup Realize Medical has announced a collaboration with Logitech, a renowned Swiss-based manufacturer of computer accessories and software. The partnership is designed to enhance Realize...

Essentium and Hephzibah Partner to Increase 3D Printing Adoption in Korea

Even though South Korea announced a plan in 2014 designed to make the country a leader in the 3D printing industry, widespread adoption of industrial-scale additive manufacturing is still slow-going...

Adobe Subsidiary Expands Surface Design for 3D Printing

In a new partnership to improve solutions for 3D printing users, Substance and CoreTechnologie are expanding options in surface design, as well as integrating virtual reality (VR) for better workflow....

MULTI-FUN Consortium Aims to Improve Metal 3D Printing

As the focus continues to shine on metal additive manufacturing (MAM), 21 partners are coming together from eight countries (Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, Portugal and Belgium) in...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.