The Pop Out Boyz, a Brooklyn-based credit scanner gang and rap crew, had their criminal enterprise busted up by NYPD in April. As the case moves forward, details about the illegal operation have come forth and look to signals a disturbing trend in New York and abroad regarding scanners.
The New York Times examined the Pop Out Boyz case, delving deeper into the facts discovered by city prosecutors during their ongoing investigation. As we shared in April, the gang implicated themselves in the list of charges they face via a rap song titled, “For A Scammer” and the extremes the gang took to undertake their crimes were easily accessible to them.
From the Times:
The case reflects a broader trend in New York City, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said. As street crime and drug dealing have declined over the last two decades, there has been a surge in identity theft and credit card fraud, and these crimes are increasingly being committed by relatively unsophisticated young adults from working-class homes, the police and prosecutors said.
“Credit card fraud in Brooklyn is becoming a big issue,” said Capt. Christopher Flanagan, the commander of the Financial Crimes Task Force for the New York Police Department. “The cards are easier to get now with the development of some of these dark websites, and as one person learns how to commit a fraud, they spread that knowledge to others.”
The websites that the Pop Out Boyz are accused of using had names like Uniccshop, Joker’s Stash and Rescator, and they peddle data from a steady stream of security breaches at retailers, hotels and other businesses. A single card number can go for $35 to $150, though some cut-rate sites sell them for as little as a dollar, security experts and the police said.
The Times adds that police reported that a majority of the 39 persons arrested in connection to the case were childhood buddies and aspiring rappers. Eleven of the accused purchased the illegal card numbers beginning in May of last year and distributed them among their fellow defendants via email and text. The gang then bought equipment used to forge phony credit cards, all of which was seized in the April raid.
In all, the gang stole over $414,000 worth of goods from high-end department stores and posted their hauls onto social media. Most of the younger members of the gang had no criminal records and many came from working-class, two-parent homes.
Below is a photo of the aforementioned credit card forging machines used by the defendants.