Target fraud arrests made this week in Texas involved a Mexican couple carrying no less than 96 stolen credit cards, and what police are citing as clear evidence of data that was thieved during the Target security breach being sold off in various locales. The two Mexican citizens were found trying to cross the border and had on their person dozens of fraudulent credit cards. Officials believe that this will unfortunately only be the first of many similar people taken into custody for trying to sell or use the stolen money or information, Fox News reports this Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.
The Target fraud arrests were made against Mexican couple Guardiola Dominguez, age 28, and 27-year-old Mary Carmen Garcia. Both nationals hail from Monterrey, Mexico, confirms a Texas Police Chief Victor Rodriguez. The 96 stolen credit cards were being used and carried by both suspects when they were stopped attempting to cross the border with the likely intent to sell the cards. It was soon discovered that all of the account information belonged to South Texas residents who had their data breached in the recent online Target malware attack.
So far, the credit cards have been used to buy at least $25,000 worth of pricey merchandise from a variety of regional retailers in Mexico. The arrests were finalized late on Sunday morning in a failed attempt to sneak through the U.S. border. Highly popularized in the news, the Target security breach is thought to have left over 40 million debit and credit card accounts, as well as the personal information of up to 70 million Target customers, at potential risk of being stolen.
The Mexican couple is being examined on the fraud charges, as well as how they came to acquire the 96 cards.
According to the press release, these Target fraud arrests may only be revealing the tip of a much more widespread and advanced scam that has affected more retailers than simply Target. A new report published by a cyber intelligence firm that works closely with the U.S. government and Secret Service has revealed that other stores may still be at risk.
However, authorities believe that they may have located this week a 17-year-old Russian male who served as the mastermind behind the malware attack. That investigation is also ongoing. If so, the issue has been brought to an international level, involving the U.S., Russia, and Mexico as only three countries involved so far.