A Chinese criminal gang in New York has been stealing driving licenses from “look-alikes” of illegal immigrants so they can pass themselves off as US citizens, authorities have revealed.
At least 3,000 Asian-Americans had their identities scalped from a Texas driver database before officials got wise to the scheme – but shockingly none of them have been notified of their identity being compromised over two months later.
The criminal group first obtained personal information of Asian-Americans through the dark web and used it to order duplicate driver’s licenses through the state’s website, the Texas Department of Public Safety [DPS] – which issues licenses – admitted.
When ordering a new copy of a license through an online portal, which was run by a third party, the criminals were able to use information such as previous addresses or mother’s maiden names which they had nefariously obtained to answer security questions. They were then able to order new licenses for as little as $11 which they sent to “third-party addresses.” The DPS admitted 2,400 licenses had been shipped in this way.
Asians of various ethnicities were victimized because the gang were hoping to find people who were “look-alikes” for Chinese citizens staying in the US illegally, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The scheme came to light when a vendor who handles payments notified the DPS to an “increase in customers challenging credit card charges for online transactions,” reported the Texas Tribune.
Texas DPS boss Steve McCraw admitted “We’re not happy at all. Controls should have been in place and this should have never happened.”
Although law enforcement learned of the breach two months ago, victims have yet to be notified, although letters will go out to them this week, McCaw added.
Texas Democrat Mary González slammed the law enforcement department for not letting those impacted know.
“Somebody could be going around as Mary González right now for two months, and nobody’s been notified,” González said.
DPS explained it didn’t notify the victims beacuse of it being part of an on-going criminal investigation, in which some of the criminals have already been identified.
McCaw added the state is working with federal authorities and law enforcement in up to four other states where drivers were similarly taken advantage of.
DPS said it has since closed up loopholes which made the scheme possible, but did not respond to a request from The Post for further information.
The ID bust comes at the same time Border Patrol are reporting a huge rise in the number of Chinese nationals attempting to illegally cross the Southern border.
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