MGD at dslreports read our post last night about Prophotosland.com and its fraudulent charge to reader Megan’s credit card. He’s been following the scammers—”an organized crime syndicate operated from Eastern Europe”—for nearly three years now, and has a ton of highly valuable information on them, including their recent targeting of military personnel stationed overseas. Bottom line: cancel your credit card, Megan, because they’ve got access to it now—and report the charge as fraudulent rather than dispute it.
Here’s MGD’s email to us:
I wanted to advise your that the fraud charge from prophotosland.com is part of a massive fraud operation perpetrated by an organized crime syndicate operated from Eastern Europe. This long running multi-year fraud operation has been hijacking millions of dollars a year from consumers debit and credit cards, virtually undetected by the financial institutions. They utilize an elaborate scheme that takes advantage of several weaknesses in the merchant account vetting system. The criminal enterprise is driven by the ability to obtain vast amounts of consumer card data.
I have been tracking and documenting this crime syndicate for almost three years, and have several hundred hours of research into the project. prophotosland is a subdivision documented here:
“fraud: www.prophotosland.com & www.photogey” [dslreports]
However, the master story of the criminal enterprise is here:
“Ebook websites, fraud charges, Devbill/DigitalAge/Pluto” [dslreports]
A few months ago Shaun Waterman, the UPI Homeland and National Security Editor ran a story on one aspect of the case which was published here:
“Analysis: Detroit trial shows cyber-scam” [UPI.com]
Recent victims of this fraud have included US military personnel including many stationed in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Germany. There has been many reported cases of hardship as a result of having to cancel their cards due to their location. There are numerous military victim reports on the net. The first reports began shortly after rangerjoes.com database was hacked by these criminals. Many of the overseas victims had purchased supplies from there before heading offshore. Military victim reports began to show up around here:
Military reports on main thread [dslreports]
and in numerous other places on the net. Mostly under searches of the phone numbers from the fraudulent sites as they were listed on the line item charges on the statements.