Belarus man pleads guilty to running identity theft site

For a fee, CallService.biz would call banks on behalf of ID thieves to confirm fraudulent transactions.

A 26-year-old Belarusian man has admitted to running an identity theft website designed to thwart the antifraud measures used by many banks.

Until he was arrested in April 2010, Dmitry Naskovetz had been the mastermind behind CallService.biz, a website that helped more than 2,000 identity thieves commit fraud. CallService employed a network of English and German speakers who would call up banks, pretending to be ID theft victims, and confirm fraudulent transactions rung up by the criminals.

This business neatly skirted antifraud measures put in place by many U.S. banks, which often ask cardholders to phone in to confirm suspicious transactions.

Naskovets would make sure his callers were the correct gender, and then tell them exactly what to say to ensure that the bogus purchases went through. He'd give his callers a dossier on the victim, including the name, e-mail address, Social Security number and answers to security questions such as "What city were you married in?" and "What is the name of your oldest sibling?"

In onlline advertisements, CallService.biz claimed to have done over 5,400 of these confirmation calls. The company promoted its services on a so-called carding website, CardingWorld.cc, where stolen bank card information was bought and sold, prosecutors say.

CardingWorld.cc's operator, Sergey Semasko allegedly helped Naskovetz set up the CallService.biz website in June 2007. Semasko is facing charges in Belarus.

Naskovetz was arrested in the Czech Republic in April 2010 and extradited to the U.S. later that year. He faces a maximum sentence of nearly 38 years in prison on wire and credit card fraud charges, and is set to be sentenced on May 26. He entered his plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Naskovetz's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

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