Râmnicu Vâlcea aka Hackerville, a town in Romania is full of hackers
How would you react if your town or city is better known for something dark? Well, there is a town in Romania known just for its hackers. It is full of hackers and scammers so much so that it has become world famous as the global centre of cybercrime
Râmnicu Vâlcea which is also known as “Hackerville” rose to prominence because almost half of its population are EBay and Craigslist scammers. Râmnicu Vâlcea is just three hours drive from the Romanian capital, Bucharest but it seems to get more attention than the capital city.
If you thought Râmnicu Vâlcea was run of the mill town from a Eastern European country, you are wrong! The town is filled with BMWs and Audis and most of the townsfolk seem to be making a killing indulging in some bit of cyber scam.
According to a Wired article, “Expensive cars choke the streets of Râmnicu Vâlcea’s bustling city center—top-of-the-line BMWs, Audis, and Mercedes driven by twenty- and thirtysomething men sporting gold chains and fidgeting at red lights.”
Only a few citizens of Râmnicu Vâlcea are actual hackers though a majority of the town is involved in some sort of cyber scam. They “steal thousands of dollars per transaction from foreign buyers.” Many of the young men who have become rich from hacking spend their money on luxury cars.
Nobody knows how the first cyber crime started in Râmnicu Vâlcea. Many think that after the 1989 revolution, people had access to sophisticated tools and PCs, which may be the reason for the cyber crime. The cyber crime business grew really fast in 2002 after a mini tech revolution in Romania. Cybercafés offered cheap Internet access, and cyber criminals in Râmnicu Vâlcea started posting fake ads on eBay and other auction sites like Craigslist to lure victims into remitting payments by wire transfer.
The town then come to the notice of FBI sleuths who started keeping tabs on big cyber criminals from Râmnicu Vâlcea. However, nothing much has changed in the town, people go on scamming and phishing to make easy dollars while the authorities look the other way.