The Texas Department of Public Safety sent thousands of Texas driver’s licenses to a crime group in a security lapse that is being investigated, the Dallas Morning News reports.
At least 3,000 Texans of Asian descent were targeted in what DPS Chief Steve McCraw described as “a Chinese organized crime group based in New York working in a number of different states.” According to Breitbart News, the gang used the fraudulently obtained identities to give to illegal alien look-alikes in New York.
“We’re not happy at all,” McCraw said. “Controls should have been in place and this should have never happened.”
McCraw said that the agency is working with the federal government and an investigation is now being conducted in at least four states, as other states were similarly targeted. No timeline was given for the investigation’s completion.
The Dallas Morning News reports that no systems were hacked and that the crime group was instead able to fraudulently obtain the licenses in a scheme that McCraw described as “personal data about Texans of Asian descent was obtained on the dark web, including credit card and personal information, and then used to request replacement driver’s licenses from the state. The group specifically targeted Asians of various backgrounds with the hopes of finding ‘look-alikes’ to match with Chinese nationals here in the country illegally.”
The organized crime group was not identified by name.
The scheme worked via the DPS and the Texas Department of Information Resources, with at least four thousand fraudulent accounts being created on the latter and 2,400 licenses being shipped to “third party addresses,” the letter from DPS to legislators said.