15 July 2008 Bucharest _ Romanian authorities have arrested 24 people for allegedly producing fake auction websites and using falsified credit cards, according to local police.
The suspects were arrested in the capital Bucharest and other five cities across Romania, following a six-month investigation aided by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.
Romania emerged as early as ten years ago as a hotspot for computer hackers. A classic scam is the "second chance auction," in which fraudsters contact an auction website user who has just missed out on an item, offering them another chance to buy it outside its rules.
The scammers persuade their victims to purchase the fictitious items using payment methods that do not allow them to recover the money. Other frauds include hacking into auctioners' accounts and stealing an identity to make fake offers.
Local police say thousands of victims have been defrauded by the scammers.
According data from the national cyber-crime unit, there were 752 arrests and 84 convictions last year in crimes related to internet fraud.