Yang Jiafeng, a captain with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has been jailed for five months after buying several stolen credit card details on the dark web. The 32-year-old was sentenced on February 17, 2020, after pleading guilty earlier to three counts of causing a computer to access without authority the data in another computer, offenses which fall under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act.
The Armed Forces captain admitted to buying multiple stolen credit cards from someone he met on a dark web marketplace. He added that he never got to know the real identity of the person but still did business with him as he had what he was looking for. The alleged person who sold the stolen credit cards to Jiafeng, according to public prosecutors, was only known as “Mr. Tree” on the dark web. The Singapore Armed Forces captain after purchasing the stolen credit card details used it to buy 88 e-vouchers online totaling over $10,000 in worth.
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According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Cheng Yuxi, the Armed Forces captain and the dark web seller stated communicating with each other through the email service provider Sharklaser.com, which automatically deletes e-mails after a few minutes. The officer purchased several stolen credit card details from Mr. Tee, with some of them belonging to customers of Maybank, Singapore. The dark web seller only accepted payment in Bitcoin which Jiafeng agreed to. Prosecutors, however, did not reveal the amount the Armed Forces captain spent on all the stolen credit card details he bought.
Court documents stated that the captain later created three accounts on an online payment and deals platform called Fave as he was looking to use the stolen credit card details for purchases. Jiafeng allegedly chose Fave because of one of its features dubbed the “Fave deals” which offers huge discounts in listings such as beauty and wellness, food and beverage and food. Another feature of Fave, “Fave Pay” also is an accepted mode of payment for selected customers or merchants. The captain subsequently linked all the details of the stolen credit cards he bought on the dark web to the three accounts he created on the Fave platform.
Jiafeng, between the latter stages of February and April 2018, used his three Fave accounts to purchase many several e-vouchers through the “Fave deals” option. Prosecutor Cheng stated that the captain then refunded the vouchers to obtain online credits from the Fave platform. He would then use the credits he had obtain to purchase items from merchants that supported the “Fave Pay” option. The Armed Forces captain also reportedly spent over $4,000 worth of credits at several merchants including Famous Amos and Tung Lok Seafood.
Jiafeng’s dark web credit card fraud came to light in 2018 when a fraud analyst with Maybank Singapore, made a police report about the credit cards of three customers of Maybank being misused, and not by the real owners. Another victim of the captain’s fraud scheme was identified but was not a customer of Maybank. The police subsequently launched an investigation into the case and unmasked the captain to be the culprit behind the fraud scheme.
After his arrest, Jiafeng claimed that the dark web seller known only as Mr. Tree had cheated him as he told him the vouchers were legit and only selling at a lower rate as compared to other dark web vendors. He added that he did not know that the vouchers were stolen from illegal sources. A laptop which was uncovered and seized from the culprit contained highly encrypted notepad files, containing the numerous stolen credit card details of the fur victims he bought from the dark web. He later confessed to prosecutors to running the dark web credit card scheme.
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Yang Jiafeng, was part of the Singapore Armed Forces Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Training Centre while doubling as a dark web credit card scammer on the dark web. Reports from the Armed Forces states that the captain has since been suspended from the SAF.
Jiafeng’s sentencing comes just a few days after a Singapore based Cybersecurity Company that specializes in preventing cyber-attacks, Group IB, detected a huge database of compromised data on the dark web. According to the Cybersecurity Company, over 98% of the compromised database were credit cards issued by Indian banks and were on sale to cybercriminals. The compromised database was released on the dark wen on February 5, 2020, according to Group IB, with an estimated value of $4.2 million, thus each card going for $9.
Source: Straits Times
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