The U.S. Department of Justice announced today the indictment of Russian citizen Denis Gennadievich Kulkov, suspected of running a stolen credit card checking operation that generated tens of millions in revenue.
Kulkov is believed to have created the Try2Check underground service in 2005, a platform that soon became highly popular among cybercriminals in the illegal credit card trade and helped the suspect make at least $18 million in bitcoin.
The service was used by those who dealt with both the bulk purchase and sale of stolen credit card numbers and needed to check what percentage of cards were valid and active, including dark web marketplaces like Joker’s Stash for card testing.
With the help of the Try2Check platform, the defendant victimized not only credit card holders and issuers but also a prominent U.S. payment processing firm whose systems were exploited to conduct the card checks.
Try2Check was also taken down on Wednesday following a joint operation between the U.S. government and partners in Germany and Austria, including units in the Austrian Criminal Intelligence Service, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (B.A.), the German Federal Office for Information Security (B.S.), and the French Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ).
Try2Check seizure banner (BleepingComputer)
”Try2Check ran tens of millions of credit card checks per year and supported the operations of major card shops that made hundreds of millions in bitcoin in profits,” the DOJ said today.
“Over a nine-month period in 2018, the site performed at least 16 million checks, and over a 13-month period beginning in September 2021, the site performed at least 17 million checks.”
The U.S. State Department in partnership with the U.S. Secret Service also announced today a $10 million reward through the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP) for anyone who can provide information that leads to the capture of Kulkov, who now resides in Russia.
Denis Gennadievich Kulkov (U.S. Secret Service)
If found guilty and convicted, Kulkov faces 20 years of imprisonment as soon as he is apprehended.
“The individual named in today’s indictment is accused of operating a criminal service with immeasurable reach to fund further illicit activity with global impact,” said U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Freaney.
“Thanks to the cooperation and dedication of our global law enforcement community, Try2Check can no longer serve as a vehicle for continued criminal activity or illicit profits.”