Dutch man arrested in massive cybercrime case; Accused of large-scale identity fraud
A 32-year-old Dutchman who lives in Brazil was arrested in the international cybercrime investigation “Operation Cookie Monster.” The man is accused of buying and using thousands of people’s identities on the Genesis Market, which the FBI took down in April.
“We suspect that this man spent tens of thousands of euros on the market and is, therefore, the largest Dutch user of the Genesis Market and may even be among the top 10 largest users worldwide,” Ruben van Well of the Rotterdam police’s Cybercrime team said. “We suspect the man of victimizing a lot of people with his actions. There are reports of people who have been robbed of tens of thousands of euros.”
The American authorities took down the Genesis Market on April 4. The user profiles containing the online fingerprints of millions of people were sold on the market. Buyers could use that info to buy things online in the victim's name, pay from the victim’s bank account, or in some cases, even empty out their bank, cryptocurrency, or investment accounts. The takedown involved hundreds of raids and arrests worldwide, including 17 arrests and 23 raids in the Netherlands.
“After the site was taken offline, the users of the platform were already warned that more arrests would follow,” Van Well said. “We have a wealth of information about the buyers on the market. You always leave traces on the internet, even if you use a VPN and pay with cryptocurrency.”
The 32-year-old Dutch man was arrested on July 18. He was arraigned on Monday and remanded into custody for another two weeks.
The police launched a site where people can check whether their data was sold on Genesis Market. “Normally, we advise people in the event of identity fraud to immediately replace all their passwords. But this malware is structured in such a way that this alone does not help,” Van Well said. “The Criminal who bought your data will simply get an update of your new password. If you haven’t done the check yet, do it now.” Information on removing the malware from your devices can be found here.