In 2013, stolen credit cards led to as much as $11 billion in fraud in the US. That doesn’t include the cost to banks, which are responsible for replacing millions of cards and monitoring customer accounts for suspicious activity. On 60 Minutes (Sunday, November 30 at 7:30pm on CBS) investigative reporter Bill Whitaker interviews Ed Lowery, Special Agent in Charge of the US Secret Service’s Criminal Investigative Division. Lowery investigates cyber crimes and knows a lot about the masterminds behind stolen credit card data.
Lowery reveals that most of the sophisticated syndicates are in Russia and Eastern Europe, mostly in Ukraine — out of reach of American law enforcement. Lowry points out the obvious, “Professional cyber criminals [like those who breached the data of Target, Home Depot] make a very good living.” Lowry describes the syndicates as “the new age cartel, as it were.” Whitaker tries to provide some optimism — that 14 people have been recently arrested — but follows that with “but there are plenty [of people with the criminal drive] to replace them.”