Police in five states as well as Romania have cracked down on internet scammers, arresting at least 100 people in both countries.
The scam was simple. Romanians posing as Americans would offer high-priced items for sale on websites such as eBay and Craigslist. Buyers were told that the items would be delivered once payment was wired to them … in the U.S. The scammers then had local representatives, or “arrows,” collect the money and deposit it in their accounts, for a commission, of course. Obviously, no item would be delivered.
According to the Justice Department, these scams were a booming business, totaling about $100 million in cars, boats, electronics, and other high-priced items. Romanian police say that the effort was coordinated by a local crime gang and run out of some 110 houses in nine cities across that country.
About 100 people were arrested, and the U.S. has requested the extradition of 22 of them, once they have been processed by the Romanian justice system.