Way Too Easy! Detroit Man Arrested After Buying 7000 Identities Off Dark Web
How safe are you when it comes to your personal information out there on the world wide web? This may make you think. A Detroit man was able to buy 7000 identities with just the click of a button on the dark web and turned it into a profit-making scam.
According to Mlive, Dewan Anton Williams, 47, of Detroit, is being accused of buying social security numbers of identity theft victims off the dark web. Using the stolen identities, Williams used them to get free government cell phones and submitted nearly 3,000 fake Medicaid applications for the free government cell phones. Once he had the phone he then allegedly sold them for a profit.
If the number of identities Williams was able to buy doesn't blow you away, the cost of the fraud to Michigan will. The submitted fake applications cost the state of Michigan about $11 million according to reports. When apprehended, Williams was found with approximately 150 new and pre-packaged Safelink Wireless phones in his home along with personal information stolen from about 7,000 identity theft victims.
Once discovered, the fraudulent accounts were shut down and Michigan has been able to recoup the lost funds. As for Williams, he has been arraigned in a Detroit court and is facing a list of charges including conducting criminal enterprises, which is a 20-year felony. He pled not guilty.
It seems lately scams have been on the rise and many, if not most, stem from personal information being compromised. Increased social media presence and online shopping through apps make "who you are" open season on the web.
If you have been the victim of identity theft or want more information, contact the Michigan Identity Theft Support team, known as MITS.