Canada’s Regional Fraud Bureau along with Canadian police departments and the U.S. Secret Service carried out a raid on suspected identity fraud rings which resulted in five arrests, over 300 fraud-related charges as well as the confiscation of equipment used for making counterfeit cards and hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit U.S. currency.
The organized identity fraud members arrested are known to have at least 100 victims with about 25 of them coming from the Halton, Ontario region where the members operated. Five people were arrested for their involvement with three facing more than 100 charges each, and all of the men and women were unemployed, or full-time fraudsters. Although many details are still being investigated, the fraudsters would obtain identity information and then use it to make counterfeit driver’s licenses, checks and credit cards. It is suspected that fraudsters paid employees who have access to client information to supply them with the identity information for their victims.
Two identity theft labs were raided, although they were not believed to be working together, and sophisticated fraud operations were uncovered as both had templates for creating Ontario driver’s license as well as equipment for setting holograms on the ID card. Additionally from the raid, authorities seized scanners, printers and other equipment used for making counterfeit credit cards and driver’s licenses. Additionally, nearly $70,000 in Canadian currency and over $350,000 is counterfeit U.S. currency was confiscated from the arrested suspects and the raids. It is believed that the counterfeit money originated from Nigeria. How much the arrested suspects gained from their crimes is still being determined, but Canada’s Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit is investigating large purchases made by the five arrested suspects and police investigations into the rings and their activities will continue.
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