Dec 23, 2007

The Shady Side of the Bulgarian Police

The writing of this post is provoked by the impudence of 2 uniformed Bulgarian police officers to accept a "package" in the middle of a street full of busy Christmas shoppers. See the attached map for more information on the location of the drop.

In the past few months I've heard of many cases where crooks would team up with police officers to support their exit plan when "ops" turned sour. The majority of the stories followed the pattern where a couple of malicious individuals would attempt to shake a few (hundred, maybe thousand) bucks out of unsuspecting individuals by sending the victim into a psychological shock through fabricating a close relative's misfortune. Such scams are usually based on a tragic story that persuades the victim to help their "relative" financially in an urgent manner. Because the information has to be accurate, the thieves would need to do quite a bit of data mining to ensure their information on family tree, the location of family members, etc. is up-to-date. Once everything is checked for and the initial shock is initiated, the victim simply becomes a puppet for the crooks.

How can info on family relationships be obtained? In Bulgaria this is not all that hard:

  • for starting, all Bulgarian names are of the pattern <first name> <father's first name> <family name>.

  • despite the Law for the Protection of Personal Information, a lot of the personal identifiable information is widely available on publicly accessible documents (for instance, digital certificates issued by the government-owned certificate authority). :)

  • since 1977, Bulgaria is running ESGRAON, a system for collecting personal information on each individual living in Bulgaria. Information in the system includes the individual's personal identifiable number, full name, nickname, citizenship, birthplace, family status, records on his marriages, etc. Bribing the right person may grant an attacker the necessary access.

What is the role of men in uniform in these scams? It is simple, if an "op" is foiled by suspecting victims, the men in uniform are to a) stall a possible arrest if possible or b) ensure a release from jail within 48hrs of arrest (search bulgaria+corruption in google for specific cases).

Although I'm not sure whether the actions of those 2 officers are related to this popular as of late scam, I'm quite disappointed by their impudence. In my eyes, those 2 are a disgrace to society.

No comments: