According to a Secret Service search warrant application that The Daily Beast obtained, a Russian hacker was reported to have stolen the identities of 22 out of the 75 United States recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, with the use of their pilfered personal data to purchase luxury watches and Apple products worth tens of thousands of dollars from the American military exchanges. The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest military award in the nation for acts of valor. It was first awarded in 1863.
Uninformed dupes were hired through benign online ads to ship these luxurious items to almost 20 different addresses in the United States. This merchandise was then moved to a Moscow suburb that is home to a training academy for a Russian spy agency.
The scammer was said to have netted almost $55000 from the stolen goods. Investigators mentioned that this sum of money was acquired from 50 different transactions. The filing that was opened in December 2020, did not disclose the personal information of individual honorees.
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FTC Report On Identity Theft Cases
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) reported that U.S. military veterans have had an experience of identity theft 76% more times compared to the civilian population. The Federal Trade Commission mentioned last year that they got 56,451 identity theft reports from the military members and they lost a median of $600 to fraud, which is twice the $311 that civilians lose to scammers.
Some months prior to the April 2014 back of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), they started the investigation into the identity thefts of the Congressional Medal of Honor. The appropriate authorities were oblivious of the OPM breach until March 2015; this allowed the hackers to operate for about a year without being noticed.
The uninformed dupes were recruited through sites whose targets were the Russian speakers who live stateside. Most of these recruits communicated with the hackers via emails. Investigators got the chance to connect the email address that the alleged scammer used with these Russian “carding forums” websites registrar that the identity thieves buy and sell personal data that were stolen. Online records have it that the said email is connected to Russian Evgenij Veremejchik of Sim.
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