April 5, 2023 4.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

Grimsby men arrested in international crackdown against fraud marketplace

120 arrests made around the world

Two men from Grimsby have been arrested in a sweeping international operation against an online marketplace for stolen identities.

The FBI and Dutch National Police led the investigation into Genesis Market, which was taken offline yesterday.

The marketplace was a go-to service for criminals seeking to defraud victims, having hosted approximately 80 million credentials and digital fingerprints stolen from over two million people.

The NCA executed 31 co-ordinated warrants on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

24 people were arrested around the country, including the two Grimsby men, aged 34 and 36, who were detained on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act and fraud offences.

In total, the international operation resulted in around 120 arrests, over 200 searches, and close to 100 pieces of preventative activity carried out across the globe.

Genesis Market has been taken down by an international operation | Photo: NCA

The NCA’s Director General NECC and Threat Leadership, Rob Jones, said: “Behind every cyber criminal or fraudster is the technical infrastructure that provides them with the tools to execute their attacks and the means to benefit financially from their offending.

“Genesis Market was a prime example of such a service and was one of the most significant platforms on the criminal market. Its removal will be a huge blow to criminals across the globe.

“Targeting this infrastructure is at the core of the NCA’s efforts to disrupt the highest harm offenders and protect the public from those seeking to infiltrate their lives, stealing their identities and their money.

Genesis Market dealt in digital identities, offering “bots” that contained information collected from compromised devices through malicious attacks against both individuals and businesses across various sectors.

These bots provided criminals with access to sensitive data related to an individual’s identity, including cookies, login credentials, and autofill form data, in real-time.

Officers making the arrest of a Grimsby man suspected of being involved with Genesis Market | Photo: NCA

The prices for these bots ranged from $0.70 to several hundred dollars, depending on the amount and type of stolen data, with the most expensive ones containing financial information that allowed access to online banking accounts.

The criminals could use this access to steal from their victims by transferring funds out of the accounts or using their credentials to purchase goods and services for their own benefit. They could also use the victim’s account to launder the profits of other criminal activities, known as money muling.

Members of the public can check whether their data has been compromised and accessed by criminals on Genesis Market by visiting https://www.politie.nl/checkyourhack and inputting their email address.

Those who have been affected are encouraged to report this, either to Action Fraud via their online portal, or Police Scotland by calling 101 if you live in Scotland.


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