US

Street gangs migrating from drugs, robberies to white-collar crime like credit card fraud

  • In this Dec. 17, 2015 photo, a New York City Police detective holds a credit card skimmer that was used by a street gang to copy metadata from legitimate credit cards for use in the manufacture of counterfeit cards and possibly identity theft. A new trend is emerging that shows street crews and local gangs giving up more traditional activities like gun point robberies or drug running for more white-collar varieties of crime like identity theft or credit card fraud. (AP Photo/Colleen Long)

    In this Dec. 17, 2015 photo, a New York City Police detective holds a credit card skimmer that was used by a street gang to copy metadata from legitimate credit cards for use in the manufacture of counterfeit cards and possibly identity theft. A new trend is emerging that shows street crews and local gangs giving up more traditional activities like gun point robberies or drug running for more white-collar varieties of crime like identity theft or credit card fraud. (AP Photo/Colleen Long)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this June 4, 2014, file photo, made in New York, New York Police Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce speaks to the media as Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, left, looks on. Although outlaw street gangs are engaging in more of a white-collar variety of crime, they are not shifting away from violence. In an interview with The Associated Press, Boyce recently said that, “These street crews are putting down the drugs for the credit cards, and then killing over the cards.” (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

    FILE- In this June 4, 2014, file photo, made in New York, New York Police Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce speaks to the media as Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, left, looks on. Although outlaw street gangs are engaging in more of a white-collar variety of crime, they are not shifting away from violence. In an interview with The Associated Press, Boyce recently said that, “These street crews are putting down the drugs for the credit cards, and then killing over the cards.” (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Van Dyke Money Gang in New York made off with more than $1.5 million this year — but it wasn't in gunpoint robberies or drug running, it was a Western Union money order scheme.

In New Jersey, 111 Neighborhood Crips used a machine to make dozens of fake gift cards for supermarkets, pharmacies and hardware stores.

In South Florida, gangs steal identities to file false tax returns.

These aren't members of an organized Mafia, or a dark web band of hackers — they're street gangs netting millions in white-collar schemes like identity theft and credit card fraud. In some instances, giving up the old ways of making an illicit income for easier crimes with shorter sentences.

Law enforcement officials say they increasingly see more gangs relying on such crimes.