Kamali Rives of Lilburn, Georgia, and his partners ran multiple credit card fraud and identity theft schemes and ultimately stole over $2 million dollars. Rives made a prosperous living for years victimizing hundreds of people. He used stolen identities to open bank accounts, write bad checks, take out fraudulent loans and create phony credit cards.
Rives ran multiple credit card fraud and identity theft schemes dating back to 2010. He partnered with bank employees to steal corporate checks. He recruited runners to open checking accounts and use fraudulent charge cards at point of sale in numerous retail locations over a long period of time. Rives kept an office in College Park, Georgia, where he conducted credit card fraud and many other unlawful schemes.
But all good things come to an end. After receiving information from a man who claimed he had been held against his will and was pressured to help in identity theft, the College Park police department executed a search warrant of Rives’ office. The police found hundreds of counterfeit credit cards, a credit card manufacturing machine and files containing phony credit card information and other documents. Kamali Rives was tried and sentenced to 19 years, 6 months in prison for credit card fraud and numerous other charges.
Obviously, some credit card fraud perpetrators do get caught and convicted and banks are working fast to make fraud even more difficult. However, 2015 statistics show that the United States is responsible for 47% of the world’s creditcard fraud, despite only accounting for 24% of total worldwide card volume.
And, credit card fraud in the United States is on the rise. About 31.8 million U.S. consumers had their credit cards breached in 2014, more than three times the number affected in 2013. Experts believe that the reason the United States has a disproportionately high amount of credit card fraud is because it has been slow to adopt EMV, the global standard in which credit cards carry computer chips that cut down on counterfeiting by dynamically authorizing card transactions. The United Kingdom, after adopting EMV technology, saw a decrease of 70% in counterfeit credit card fraud between 2005 and 2013.
The United States is now implementing EMV. Once it is totally rolled out, counterfeit credit card fraud, especially at point of sale, should drop here too. But other types of credit fraud, especially card-not-present (online) fraud will most likely grow. Card-not-present is already a huge problem in the United States, accounting for 45% of credit card fraud in 2014, followed by actual counterfeit cards at 37%. Card-not-present transactions are expected to grow from $9 billion in 2013 to nearly $19 billion in 2018. EMV adoption will cause credit card fraud at point of sale to shrink, according to projections. Going forward, retailers will need to put even more focus on card-not present online transactions.
Had the United States adopted EMV standards sooner, it probably would have put a huge dent in Kamali Rives’ profitable fraud operation. But, as noted, fraud against retailers will continue to grow, although probably not through point of sale counterfeit credit card fraud. And, there will always be Kamali Riveses out there, working to find other ways to scam retailers. The battle continues.