24. Credit Card Top Cop

When Sergio Pinon fell victim to identity theft in February 2004, he did more than just get mad about it. As the chief fraud investigator for MasterCard, Pinon realized that “if it could happen to me, anyone can be a victim.” He launched Operation Stop IT (for identity theft) to do what no one had ever done before: Shut down online fraud havens and prosecute criminals. Working with NameProtect, a digital asset protection company, and the major ISPs, Pinon has shut down 300 phishing operations and retired 22,000 account numbers used to commit fraud. A former Miami cop, Pinon shares the information with the Secret Service, FBI, Interpol, and other international economic crime units. Thanks to Pinon’s efforts, last October the Secret Service arrested a global ring of 37 people suspected of compromising 1.4 million accounts and committing billions in fraud. He kicked off 2005 by setting out after phony tsunami relief funds. “There will always be some scam to counteract,” he acknowledges, “but we can slow it down.”


Sergio Pinon, 54

Senior vice president of security and risk services
MasterCard International
Purchase, New York

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