|Nguyen Hoang Anh.— Photo anninhthudo
HCM CITY (VNS) — A gang of thieves who buy credit card numbers from hackers and make phony bookings at hotels, later cancelling the reservations with hotel sales executives who are also part of the scam has been uncovered.
The group includes five men: Nguyen Hoang Anh, 27, of central Nghe An Province, the gang's leader; and Nguyen Hai Ha, 32, Mai Quoc Viet, 25, Dao Viet Anh, 28, and Vo Viet Phuong, 33, all from Ha Noi.
Anh and his accomplices were allegedly using the computer and internet to appropriate property, according to the Police Department for High-Tech Crime Prevention under the Ha Noi Police. Investigative documents showed that Anh bought real credit-card numbers from hackers.
In June, Anh's group, using the hacked credit-card numbers, reserved rooms at several hotels in Viet Nam via two booking websites, Expedia.com and Agoda.com. However, they never stayed at the hotels, and instead, worked with hotel sales executives responsible for online bookings who were also participating in the scam.
Police said the hotel staff cancelled the bookings and then met face-to-face with gang members to give them the money that had been credited to the hotel.
Since the middle of 2013, the gang have made bookings at 19 hotels in Viet Nam, including nine in Ha Noi, police said.
The gang appropriated a total of VND1.4 billion ($66,500) million, including VND700 million ($33,250) from Ha Noi-based hotels, police said.
Anh and his accomplices took 60 per cent of the amount, and the rest was given to the hotel staff taking part in the scam, according to police.
Police are continuing to investigate the case. — VNS