6 arrested in Quebec as police disperse international identity theft network

Six people from Quebec have been arrested as part of the dismantling of a vast international network of identity thieves that spanned 17 countries.

Hundreds of people have been arrested around the world, according to authorities.

These suspects were operating on the Genesis Market website and their business was to make stolen credentials available through various vendors.

The customers of these resellers then used these identities to commit various crimes. For example, they used stolen computer account access, combined with sophisticated tools, to conduct fraudulent online transactions under the guise of a victim’s identity.

In Quebec, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) Cybercrime Investigation Service conducted four searches on Tuesday that led to the arrest of four men and two women between the ages of 21 and 37. They could be charged with, among other things, unauthorized use of a computer, as well as possession of a device allowing the unauthorized use of a computer.

Investigators seized computer equipment, cell phones, external data storage units and USB keys, as well as equipment used to produce false documents.

The Quebec investigation was conducted in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and, surprisingly, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

The entire operation was a tour de force of coordination and logistics as it was a simultaneous global strike involving countless police units from several countries. In Quebec alone, the SQ had to coordinate with 11 Quebec police forces and met with some 60 “subjects of interest” who were also users of this online market.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 5, 2023.

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