A New Jersey woman pleads guilty to making over US$300,000 in fraudulent charges after using Bitcoin to buy stolen personal information on the dark web.

We live in an era where the average person is surrounded by a sea of personal information. Social media, online shopping accounts, and even our smartphones are filled to the brim with personal and financial information that criminals are just looking to get their grubby hands on. The dark web helps facilitate the selling of such information. One woman who took advantage of such an opportunity has pleaded guilty to using Bitcoin to buy stolen personal info in order to engage in making fraudulent charges totaling over $300,000.


Using Bitcoin for Bad Purposes

The woman in question is 25-year-old Briana Burford of Fort Lee, New Jersey. Prosecutors say she made four Bitcoin transactions between October 2018 through December 2018. The transactions, made from a Bitcoin ATM, were carried out on carding websites, which are sites on the dark web that sell stolen bank account, credit card, and other personal information.

Burford then used the information to compromise bank and credit card accounts to make, or attempt to make, fraudulent purchases that exceeded $300,000. Such charges were obviously made without the knowledge of the actual account holders.

Briana Burford has pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to the charge of wire fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 4, 2020. The maximum sentence for wire fraud is 20 years in prison along with a $250,000 fine, or twice the total gain or loss of the criminal offense (which would be over $600,000).

Scams Abound

While the woman used Bitcoin to buy the stolen information to pull off her scheme, the reality is that the vast majority of BTC transactions are done for legitimate reasons. Fiat is used far more often than cryptocurrency for nefarious purposes, but it is true that the ease of sending crypto across borders near-instantaneously does provide some use for criminals.

Online security

Most of the time that BTC is mentioned with crime, it is usually that of a fraudulent investment scheme that steals people’s crypto or a ransomware attack. One such investment scam was Philippines-based Grapefruit Services, Inc., which targeted victims in China. Police raided the corporate offices in September and arrested 277 employees of the firm.

A Swedish man was just extradited to the United States from Thailand for selling fraudulent securities. Over the life of his criminal operation, he managed to con about $11 million in Bitcoin from over 3,575 investors.

Overall, cryptocurrency is just another tool that a criminal can use. The sad reality of today is that personal and financial information is stolen all the time due to data breaches at major corporations. Right now, account information from the newly-launched Disney+ service is already being sold on the dark web.

Images courtesy of Deposit Photos and Pixabay.

The post Woman Uses Bitcoin to Pull Off $300,000 in Scams appeared first on BitcoinerX.