Dutch victim loses €70,000 to Genesis Market: over 50,000 others may have been affected
One 71-year-old man in the Netherlands lost €70,000 to Genesis Market, which was recently shut down by law enforcement. The police suspect that as many as 50,000 other Dutch individuals may have also fallen victim to this illegal marketplace, which traded in personal information obtained via malware.
The elderly victim first became aware of the fraud when he received an SMS from a bank informing him that his phone number had been changed. Recognizing it as a likely scam, he ignored the message. However, a month later he received a letter from PostNL stating that all mail under his name would be redirected to a new address from 5th February 2021, with no further details provided.
After contacting PostNL’s customer service, he managed to cancel the redirection but was unable to find out who had requested it or where his mail would have been sent. The same month, he was shown a letter by a postman stating that his address should no longer be traced back to an Amsterdam location. Included in the post was a letter from the bank containing a pin code for a new account in his name.
Further investigation revealed that multiple bank accounts had been opened under his name, with one account being used to steal almost €70,000 from his investment account. He also discovered that various items had been purchased in his name from online retailers, although he did not receive the goods himself. Despite reporting the crimes to the police, it was not until a laptop was seized from a suspect that the full extent of the victim’s personal information was discovered.
Feeling overwhelmed and paranoid, the man took steps to protect himself by changing his phone number and internet provider. With the help of the police and a lawyer, he eventually recovered from the ordeal without further financial loss, apart from the fees for his legal representation and a new passport.
The Genesis Market incident serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of online fraud and the importance of staying vigilant and protecting personal information.