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Cybercriminal Vadim Polyakov pleads guilty to stolen credit cards

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June 21, 2016

The Russian ringleader of an illegal ticketing racket group has pled guilty to selling $1.6 million worth of bogus tickets to major events. The tickets were bought using credit cards stolen from StubHub accounts.

Aged thirty-two, Vadim Polyakov led a group that broke into StubHub accounts using the access to acquire event tickets to premiere music, sports, theatre events and other similar venues.

The group then sold those tickets for a profit, some fetching up to $1,000 each. U.S. prosecutors say that more than 1,000 StubHub accounts were compromised to purchase over 3500 tickets to events such as Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, and Yankee Stadium, among others.

Polyakov was arrested two years ago while travelling in Spain and he was then extradited to the United States over a few complaints from Moscow.

"After investigating the receipts and transaction records of more than 1600 illegally accessed accounts, analysts in the district attorney’s office were able to trace the illegal sales to internet protocol addresses, various PayPal accounts, bank accounts, and other financial accounts used and controlled by the same suspects," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

The hacked accounts held by the eBay company were thought to be accessed by exploiting poor password choices and a lack of two factor password authentication.

Users also reported that PayPal accounts once linked to StubHub allowed for future unverified purchases to be made. Customers had to call Stubhub to have the two accounts disconnected.

StubHub asserted the press that it reimbursed the affected customers. Nine other fraudsters were also indicted but some are yet to be arrested.

Three of the men charged by the U.S. are from Russia, while the others are U.S. residents who are alleged to have acted as ticket scalpers.

New York has just done its share to shut down ticketing scams by banning bot-buying, which would make it more difficult to run something like the StubHub scam in the near future.

Source: The U.S. Justice Department.

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