Five Bucks Gets $4,000: 2 CUs Hit by Thieves Using Dark Web Purchases

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.–Thieves who are suspected of having bought information on the dark web have hit credit unions in two states, including one suspect who spent $5 and was able to steal more than $4,000.

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In Bloomington, Ind., a suspect has been arrested here for theft from an ATM of IU Credit Union that could go as high as $100,000, according to Bloomington Police.

Police said Cristian Darla was arrested at IU Credit Union on Sunday night after ATMs showed an unusually high rate of transactions using cards containing no embedded microchip, IDS News reported. “Officers found four gift cards and $1,500 on Darla and believe he adapted the gift cards into debit or credit cards using data purchased on the darknet,” IDS News added.

Police said members of the credit union have been reporting missing funds from their accounts, and multiple branches of IUCU may be affected. The total amount that was stolen is unknown, and other suspects may be involved.

Bloomington Police said they have also contacted the Department of Homeland Security for assistance in the investigation.

Man Says He Bought Identity for $5

Meanwhile, in Hamden, Conn., a New York man has been arrested and charged with using the identity of a Maine resident he purchased on the dark web to steal funds from the account of a member of Crosspoint FCU here. Crosspoint Federal Credit Union reported the theft to police in May and Brandon Gutierrez was found to have withdrawn $4,600 from an account registered to a Maine resident, Capt. Ronald Smith said, according to

Smith said Gutierrez told police that he bought the Maine resident's identity through the dark web for $5, and that he had stolen approximately $15,000 in total during the past two months using fake identifications, Smith said.

Gutierrez was arrested by the Southern Connecticut State University Police Department after attempting to commit another fraud at a Crosspoint Federal Credit Union branch on campus, police said.

Gutierrez, 33, of Brooklyn, New York, has been charged with third-degree larceny, third-degree forgery and third-degree identity theft. Gutierrez is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on Aug. 27, reported.

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Copyright Year: 2019
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