If there was anyone in the modern world who could be compared to the Joker, Vitalli Chychasov might be it. On July 25, 2023, Ukrainian citizen Vitalii Chychasov pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud and trafficking in unauthorized access devices relating to his administration of SSNDOB Marketplace. The SSNDOB scheme stands for “Social Security Number, Date Of Birth,” and has impacted about 24 million people across the U.S. Thanks to fraudsters like Vitalii Chychasov, cybercrime has hit the U.S. so hard that it is expected that every American citizen should expect that all of their personally identifiable information has been stolen and is on the dark web. And while Chychasov’s darknet site has been closed, the damage is almost too significant to repair.
PII sold on SSNDOB included email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers, and social security numbers. Prices range from 50 cents to $2.50 per record, and from $5 to $15 for credit and background checks. A bargain since users were able to browse SSNDOB for specific names including the identities of dozens of top celebrities — such as performers Beyonce, Kanye West and Jay Z — as well as prominent public figures, including First Lady Michelle Obama, CIA Director John Brennan, and then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.
People who purchased this information could use it to conduct phishing attacks and blackmail scam campaigns, as well as to create accounts on social media and financial services under assumed identities. Stolen Social Security numbers can be used to commit a variety of frauds, including United States tax fraud, unemployment insurance fraud, loan fraud, credit card fraud, and the like. And people bought. SSNDOB sold almost $19 million in identities.
Great job by the IRS and the FBI in this investigation.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Ukrainian man pleads guilty in dark web scheme that stole millions of Social Security numbers” published by USA Today on July 25, 2023
A Ukrainian national who prosecutors say was part of a dark web network that illegally sold millions of personal Social Security numbers has pleaded guilty to cybercrime charges and is facing up to 15 years in federal prison.
Vitalii Chychasov made more than $19 million through a series of websites, known as the SSNDOB Marketplace that sold names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers belonging to people in the United States, according to a news release Tuesday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The SSNDOB scheme, which stands for social security number date of birth, impacted about 24 million people across the U.S., the Internal Revenue Service says.