Hacker who cloned Bill Gates’s credit card is arrested in Philippines

Bill GatesSome criminals aim high.

Like stealing money from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the man recently confirmed as the world’s richest person.

A bunch of Bulgarians were arrested in Paraguay in 2011, after stealing thousands of dollars from billionaire Bill Gates with a cloned credit card. At the time the fraudsters were said to have stolen over $4 million from American consumers (including Gates), laundering their ill-gotten gains by purchasing luxury items on eBay.

Now at least one of the gang, 31-year-old Konstantin Simeonov Kavrakov, appears to have got himself into a spot of bother again.

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The so-called “king of super-hackers” was caught while allegedly up to no good on Thursday last week, using counterfeit credit cards to withdraw money from an ATM in Quezon City, Philippines.

Police recovered seven credit cards from Karakov during the arrest, as well as a number of ATM receipts and 76,570 Pesos (approximately £1100) in cash.

KavrakovReginald Villansanta, the executive director of PAOCC (the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission), says that Kavrakov is suspected of being part of an international fraud and cybercrime gang that has been hunted by authorities in many countries since 2004.

The arrest of Karakov comes in the wake of a PAOCC’s “Operation Jugador”, which is targeting foreign nationals engaged in cybercrime and illegal online gambling.

Kavrakov is said to have been arrested following a tip-off from a Filipino informant, and police say they will be exercising a search warrant to search his current residence – a condominium in a nearby hotel complex.

A local media report reported that police had claimed that Kavrakov had attempted to bribe officers into not arresting him, by offering them $12,000.

It’s unclear whether he was planning to get the money to fund the alleged bribe from the ATM…

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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