Calling it one of the nation's most significant wireless telecommunications fraud busts, the wireless industry today congratulated the U.S. Secret Service on its arrest of six alleged computer hackers in a seven-state undercover investigation, called "Operation Cybersnare."
"Wireless telecommunications fraud is an industry-wide epidemic affecting customers and companies alike," CTIA Fraud Task Force Chairman Thomas W. McClure said. "We salute the U.S. Secret Service for taking the offensive against wireless thieves to protect our customers and the integrity of our industry."
McClure said that CTIA's Fraud Task Force estimates that the wireless industry lost $482 million --$1.32 million daily -- from fraud last year. He also pointed out that each day multiple arrests for wireless telecommunications fraud are being made.
Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Peter A. Cavecchia said that the Operation Cybersnare investigation, which seized more than 20 computer systems, targeted persons who used the Internet and a private bulletin board system to allegedly deal in stolen cellular telephone and credit card data worth millions of dollars.
"This investigation is another fine example of mutual cooperation between law enforcement and the wireless telecommunications industry," said McClure. "Together, we stand committed to winning a high-tech war against these high-tech criminals."
Wireless carriers organized the Fraud Task Force in 1991 to support field investigations of criminal operations; create and run education programs for law enforcement, carrier personnel and the general public; and research technological solutions to fraud. CTIA, formed in 1984, is the national organization of the wireless communications industry, both wireless carriers and manufacturers.