Victim Lost 50,000 Dollars After Texan DPS Wrongly Sent 4,800 Asians’ DLs To Crime Groups

After the Texas Department of Public Safety revealed to victims this month that it had unknowingly sent thousands of driver’s licenses, most of which belonged to Asian Americans, to an organized crime group, a victim is sharing details of credit card fraud, stolen data, digital SIM card access and more.

A 33-year-old senior consultant, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, estimates she has racked up $50,000 in losses through schemes that used her stolen Texas driver’s license information.

DPS Director Steve McCraw told the Texas House Appropriations Committee in late February that a New York-based Chinese organized crime group had obtained 3,000 licenses with Asian names, like the consultant’s, to sell to predominantly Chinese undocumented immigrants in hope of impersonating the victims. In a statement provided to NBC News, the department said the number of victims has risen to 4,800. And a little over 2,000 have been in contact with staff members to address the issue.

NBC News was able to verify $16,000 in losses through receipts and copies of checks. Many of the remaining disputed transactions don’t show up in statements, as they were quickly resolved by Chase Bank, the consultant said. A representative for Chase was unable to give specifics about her case because of privacy reasons but confirmed that the consultant had been in contact with it and that a claim had been filed for the disputed transactions. She has been able to recover and resolve all the disputed funds through Chase and insurance.

While McCraw revealed the issue to a state House committee at the end of February, he said his department discovered the attacks in December. For the consultant, the ordeal began nearly six months ago. She said hopes to share her story so more resources can be dedicated to the Asian community. Those with limited English skills and the technological know-how to resolve the fallout from the identity fraud, she feels, are inadequately served.

“They need to do more for the community,” she said of the state. “Give resources to the community that’s affected.”

In a matter of months, the consultant says, she has had to not only resolve monetary losses but  letters viewed by NBC News showed she also fielded notifications that the scammers have tried to open dozens of Capital One credit cards under her name.

Although DPS sent letters notifying people that they are among the thousands of fraud victims in March, the consultant said the suspicious activity began in November, when her recurring payments stopped working. Upon calling Chase Bank, she discovered her account had been closed, and after she logged into the Chase website, she further found two fraudulent $2,000 withdrawals made before her account was closed.

Although the withdrawals were resolved quickly, the victim said, the nightmare continued. She said that in February her family members, who were on the same family phone plan, got calls from T-Mobile informing them that had been attempts to request an eSIM card.

The digital SIM card would allow fraudsters to access her phone data.

Miller didn’t mention whether the letters themselves would be translated but said in the statement that the department will make a second round of attempts to contact victims who haven’t yet responded. Those notifications, she said, will include links to view the notices in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and other languages.