It is important to clarify up front that Tony Cao Li and his two co-conspirators did not hack into any U.S. government website. There was no need to do something as dramatic as hacking a firewall, when they were able to obtain 3,000 fraudulent licenses online with no questions asked!
Li and his group were able to access personal identifying information of thousands of Texans through the “dark web.” Asian-Americans were particularly targeted with the goal of finding similar names that would aid people from China currently residing in the United States illegally. They then took advantage of big security gap in the state’s online driver’s license portal and requested replacement driver’s licenses to be mailed. A system that was set up to make license renewal convenient, was so easy anyone could do it. Now 3,000 Texan’s have had licenses made from their identities and sold around the country.
On March 14, 2023, a total of 1,273 legitimate copies of Texas driver’s licenses were found in three residences in Oklahoma. All three residences were within walking distance of one another which seems incongruous to driver’s license fraud. An agent with the Texas Department of Public Safety criminal investigations unit was quoted “it is unreasonable for hundreds of driver’s licenses to be sent to each single-story residence as it could not possibly hold that number of occupants.” Ya think??? Authorities also seized electronic devices and found a stack of mail containing official letters from the Texas Driver’s License division of DPS, with approximately thirty pieces of mail related to fraudulent driver’s license renewal receipts.”
Good job by the Texas Department of Public Safety for breaking up this organized crime group.
Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “Texas driver’s licenses were sent to Oklahoma addresses in organized fraud scheme” published by KXAN News Today on March 14, 2023
The unnamed organized crime group the state said is involved in a widespread fraud scheme sent more than 1,000 duplicates of Texas driver’s licenses to three different addresses in Oklahoma, according to court documents.
According to an affidavit filed Monday morning, a total of 1,273 legitimate copies of Texas driver’s licenses were mailed to three residences in Oklahoma, all within a walking distance of one another.