CLEVELAND-- Investigators discussed the indictment of three people in an international cyber fraud conspiracy Friday afternoon.
U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon and FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony said three Romanian nationals face a 21-count indictment. They thanked Romanian authorities for their assistance in the investigation.
Bogdan Nicolescu, 34, Tiberiu Danet, 31, and Radu Miclaus, 34, were extradited to the U.S. this week.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said the suspects infected tens of thousands of computers and sent millions of malicious emails. The viruses helped them steal passwords and credit card numbers.
"They built a group of infected computers that were under their control," Anthony said.
The three men defrauded 500 victims out of $4 million to $5 million, Rendon said. Many of the victims, who lost between $8,000 and $16,000 each, are from Northeast Ohio.
"We have victims in all 50 states in the United States. This a wide-reaching investigation," Rendon said.
The investigation began in 2007 when a woman reported she paid $8,000 for a vehicle she never received and believed her computer was infected.
Anthony said they believe there are other victims. He also offered the following tips:
-Be cautious when opening file attachments on your computer
-Update your computer's anti-virus program
-Check for unusual purchases on your bank and credit card statements
To file a complaint about potential Internet fraud, click here.