$700,000 Romanian phisher pleads guilty

Newspapers in Minneapolis are reporting that a 22-year-old Romanian national has admitted his involvement in a US-based phishing scheme that raked in $700,000.

Sergiu Daniel Popa, who was extradited to the USA from Spain in June, stole a total of approximately $700,000 from over 7000 people after spamming out emails pretending to come from financial institutions such as SunTrust, Citibank and PayPal.

By leading victims to bogus websites, Popa was able to steal PIN codes, names, addresses, bank account numbers, credit card and social security information from internet users.

Court documents showed that Popa had a high opinion of his position in the computer underworld. In an email to an associate in January 2005 he is said to have written:

“Listen up, I am a accredited [sic] vendor in underworld. I have many scams, shop admins, and many full info credit cards. I…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, on Mastodon at @[email protected], or drop him an email.