HomeNewsBriefChile Busts Bank Card Cloning Operation, Arrests 3 Colombians
BRIEF

Chile Busts Bank Card Cloning Operation, Arrests 3 Colombians

CHILE / 18 APR 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Chilean investigative police have arrested three Colombians allegedly dedicated to credit card cloning, further evidence of the growing problems of identity theft and technology-based crime in the region.

Police from the Criminal Investigation Department (OS-9) arrested three Colombian nationals at a Santiago bank after receiving a tip-off from security guards. The suspects had apparently installed a "skimmer" in a bank ATM earlier that day -- a device that reads the magnetic strips or chips on bank cards to access confidential account information, allowing the card to later be duplicated. At the time of arrest, the suspects were carrying bank cards and skimmers, reported Terra.

Following the arrests, police searched suspects' residences, where they found 42 bank cards, at least 10 card-skimming devices ready for distribution and related equipment, including micro-cameras, along with over $6,000 in cash. 

Based on the quantity of items found, police believe the group was a major distributor of skimmers to card duplicators in Chile, where reports of card fraud approximately tripled between 2010 and 2012

InSight Crime Analysis

Skimmers have long been a popular tool for criminals around the world. However, skimming is just one example of the use of technology for criminal purposes in Latin America. Cyber crime is also a growing sector and "phishing" -- illegally obtaining personal information on the internet -- costs Latin American banks an estimated $93 million a year. In recent years, Mexico has emerged as a world leader in cyber crime, while Brazil and Argentina have also been severely affected by the problem.

Crime that utilizes technology can be highly lucrative and difficult to trace, making it an attractive proposition for criminals. While there is little evidence that this has become a major revenue source for large scale criminal groups, there have been reports of Mexican drug cartels recruiting hackers for cyber crime operations. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 23 DEC 2021

A spree of illegal fishing occurred across Latin America this past year, much of it driven by competition for diminishing…

CHILE / 1 JUN 2022

A new report by Chilean think tank AthenaLab has laid bare Chile's ever-increasing spectrum of criminal threats, from copper theft…

CHILE / 24 JAN 2022

After seven years in action, Chile's hardline strategy to rid the country of microtrafficking has been exported abroad, lauded as…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…