Norfolk Police are investigating a case involving stolen information off the dark web, according to documents.
A store manager at the Norfolk Premium Outlets called police on September 2 about possible credit card fraud.
Records indicate that police tracked down three suspects who were getting into a Mercedes in the outlet parking lot.
The records also state that multiple credit cards were located on the three men and on the ground near the car. There were also laptops and electronics found inside the car.
One suspect said he had purchased stolen credit card information off the dark web marketplace for $20 in bitcoin. The suspects used a magnetic strip reader to encode credit cards, records say.
Authorities said they found 14 cards that had been re-coded. Documents reveal that there were hundreds of dollars’ worth of items purchased with the stolen credit card information.
“In the last four years, online crimes have increased tremendously,” said Richard James, who is a former detective and crime analyst.
Jermaine Alexander, Xavier Knowles and David Littles were arrested in regards to this incident.
All three are being held in a Norfolk jail.
Kimberly Perez, a Professor of Information Systems Technology, Cyber Security CS & IT Department Chair at the Virginia Beach Campus Tidewater Community College, said:
“The Dark Web was originally developed by the government for spies to share secret information. The Dark Web is an encrypted network that is not indexed by traditional search engines and cannot be seen without passwords and access. It includes a plethora of illegal and illicit items for sale. The Dark Web is accessible by utilizing special software called the Tor browser.
People can use complex passwords, change them often, check their credit card statements and bank accounts regularly for any unauthorized activity, and be cautious of any email scams by not clicking on anything that you do no recognize or that looks suspicious. Ransomeware is one of the biggest threats today and one additional way to thwart this attack is to make sure you regularly update the software on your computer and backup all of your important files (like photos) on to an external drive for quick recovery.”