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Police in Macon County have detained several suspects related to credit cards stolen and sold on the dark web, and later used in making transactions in purchasing appliances. They say that several thousands of dollars have been spent by the people. These arrests reveal the severity of the matter and its extent.
The dark web continues to come up with newer ways to loot from stores and unsuspecting clients without alerting the authorities. Most recently credit card numbers sourced from the darknet market are being employed to make purchases in stores. Since the cards are hard to identify from the legitimate ones, the purchases go unnoticed. That way, the perpetrators are able to go unseen from one store to another.
Two of the arrested were caught in possession of almost $10,000 worth of equipment bought from Lowe’s. The two, Lepolean Reasonover and La’Dina Mia Coleman were stopped on Interstate 72. Apparently, Lepolean tried to lure the officers away from the truth with a crafted story. However, his story about being on a journey could not hold water with the detectives. Thus, the suspicious detectives mounted a search on the two and their box truck. At the time they were flagged down, Reasonover, aged 33 was the driver of the white van.
The search proved fruitful in unearthing an ongoing credit card fraud scheme. Additionally, it sheds light on the operations of the underground darknet world of stolen card data. Apart from the over $9,000 in appliances confiscated which the two had purchased using stolen dark web purchased credit cards, the detectives found traces of a suspected illegal substance in Mia’s purse. The detectives together with their drug sniffing dog named Leeroy Jenkins identified the substance as cannabis residue.
Dealers in stolen card numbers are all over the dark web. They cost the government losses in the billions which translate to increased rates for card users. This fraud system is a coordinated industry. One group of workers steal through clever means, personal details from the card users. Some go as far as employing wireless technology techniques to fish out card information from the user’s wallet. Other means involve dubious bank websites which prompt customers to input their card information. Once that is done, it opens a loophole for the skimmers to access valuable private data. These stolen numbers are then sold to clients on the dark web who then can use them in stores to buy whatever they want. About a third of these cards hit brick and mortar stores while the rest of them hit online stores.
Upon questioning, Reasonover, the driver of the van admitted to buying card numbers from the black market. He confessed to having acquired the numbers for about $100. According to the police officer, Coleman went into a Lowes store and bought several appliances. Her purchases included refrigerators, heaters, and lawn mowers among others.
Police reports confirm that the two were driving to Chicago to complete their deal. In Chicago, their duty was to hand over the items to a third party. The final accomplice remains unidentified. Their story sheds light on the expanse of the credit card fraud industry and the flow of stolen information from the darknet back into the business world. It is evident that even criminal gangs can use this operation to fund their activities. This realization calls for more attention to find ways to curb these illegal activities.
Coleman and Reasonover are being held in custody in Macon County. They are both faced with two charges; being in possession of property acquired through theft and stealing another person’s identity. Police in collaboration with Lowes is involved in the case. Hopefully, their partnership will be of value to the investigation. At the moment though, the two suspects remain in custody awaiting to face the justice of the law.
In recent years, the darknet market scene for credit card information has become saturated. Which means a lot of users are skimmed unaware. The increased supply has caused the prices of stolen cards to drop significantly. Card information is therefore available cheap and many stores are hit annually. While many businesses try to come up with countermeasures, their effectiveness is placed in jeopardy by the high costs involved. The large capital makes dealing with low-value fraud difficult and thus businesses have to focus on the higher end of the value chain.