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. 

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

BRAZIL / 23 JUN 2011

A hacking group managed to temporarily take down three government websites in Brazil, as well as the site of state…

BRAZIL / 17 SEP 2013

Brazil's authorities have launched an investigation after hackers stole, then published the personal details of 50,000 Rio de Janeiro…

BRAZIL / 18 SEP 2020

From US President Donald Trump to Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi, well-known visages are used by drug gangs to not…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…