A Chinese organized crime group recently attained over 3000 Asian American driver’s licenses from a Texas Department of Public Safety website.
Director of the Texas DPS, Steve McCraw, told a Texas House committee that the organization has been selling the licenses to people abroad. The scheme was discovered by DPS in December, but victims have just begun to be notified this past week.
The unnamed crime organization acquired personal data of Texans with Asian last names from the dark web. The data included previous addresses and family names, which allowed the organization to answer security questions on the breached Texas.gov website. Then they were able to use stolen credit cards to purchase “replacement” drivers licenses for $11 each.
House Appropriations Vice Chair Mary González criticized the DPS for taking so much time to address the issue:
The investigation into the stolen licenses currently spans four states and involves the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. The DPS has also worked to correct the security loophole, and says it have been completely resolved.
Letters notifying the victims have begun to go out, and cases of ID fraud will be given priority.