Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pre-paid calling cards purchased with stolen credit card Saudi Arabia

Here's a disturbing little story from Arab News involving a rash of purchases of pre-paid calling cards for Saudi Telecom company SAWA using stolen credit card numbers.
A comment appeared recently on a consumer-products-review website from a credit card holder in the US state of Virginia who claims that Citibank recently called him about a suspicious transaction earlier this month: Two $80 purchases for Saudi Telecom SAWA prepaid calling cards.

“Citibank was only able to tell me the charge was made via telephone or web and that a card was not swiped,” he wrote.

“Searching on the Internet I found another person who was the victim of fraud with the same charges only a few days before me.”

“Same thing happened to me,” replied another post on the same forum.

“Hi, same thing happened to me,” replied yet another post. “I emailed my concerns via the ‘Contact Us’ page on”

Then another post appeared from a credit card holder in Mexico saying the same thing happened to him for one $80 charge to a card issued at a Mexican bank!

The consumer advocacy website pointed out that these charges don’t seem to be a result of stolen card numbers.

“There’s seems to be no correlation between vendors victims used their cards with, perhaps pointing to a breach at the credit card company level,” said a post on the popular US website.
Now why, if you had a list of valid credit card numbers, would you squander your larceny on pre-paid calling cards?

I checked, and sure enough, I found this thread in their forums. The number of people who've been hit with charges from STC SAWA is alarming, and not just because of the widespread fraud. This sounds like a jihadi operation to acquire a large number of untraceable calling cards, which can typically be used world-wide.

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