Credit Card Fraud, So Simple an Inmate Can Do it

I’ve always known credit card fraud was easy to do but I couldn’t appreciate how easy until I read this story which I found via Bruce Schneier’s blog:

A Rikers Island inmate ran a nationwide cyber-crime ring from behind bars that forged fake credit cards to buy $1 million in iPads and Apple computers, officials said Wednesday.

Shaheed “Sha” Bilal, 28, directed the massive syndicate, instructing his girlfriend and three younger brothers on how to encode the magnetic strips on credit cards with stolen financial information, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said.

Obviously the prison system works well if those incarcerated for performing criminal acts can continue to perform criminal acts while imprisoned.