Five prisoners were found to have led a crime group dealing with IT fraud, which stole around EUR 350,000. The prosecutors and the Police started searches in Prahova, Dâmboviţa, Ploieşti and Ilfov counties, in the homes of the group members. The crime ring allegedly defrauded bank units, supermarkets and companies. Searches are also being conducted in the prisons Oradea, Mărgineni and Ploieşti. The five people who are currently serving jail-time at the same prison were coordinating the group. The Police started criminal files against 58 people, out of the 64-person group.
Some of the money obtained by the members of the group were brought to the prisoners during regular visits, as well as via electronic transfer to their bank accounts. Members of this group were also cheating people by cold calling and asking for recharge codes for prepay phone cards, as well as other tricks via phone.
The crime ring also tricked nine companies in Romania, as well as financial transfer companies abroad into fake transfers of money, by using fictitious identities, and by pretending they were simply performing a routine system test. After getting the unique transaction ID, they were sending it via text message to members of the group, who, in exchange for a commission, were withdrawing rapidly the sums from the accounts where the sums were transferred, to avoid having them blocked. The same scheme was done using emails announcing system ‘simulations’, and by redirecting the landline number provided in the email to the mobile phone used by the five prisoners.