Recently, a man from Windeck, Germany was standing trial for buying a “homepage set” on the dark web, which he used to scam victims.
On May 31, a 24-year-old man from Windeck was standing before the District Court of Bonn. The prosecution charged the defendant with fraud in 254 cases and with personal injury in one case.
According to the court documents, the between October 2015 and March 2016, the 24-year-old man, who had no job at the time, financed his livelihood through a fake internet shop. As early as the beginning of 2015, he discovered the internet as a source of income and established accounts on a sales platform. Court documents stated that the 24-year-old was an active user of the dark web. During his search on the dark side of the internet, he discovered a service, offering a “homepage set”, which he bought and used to establish an online shop. According to the court records, on a website with a “fictional name”, customers were able to order electronic products from a person with a “fictional name”. From game consoles to household appliances to beer dispensing system, everything was offered at reasonable prices. However, when the customers placed the orders and paid the cost of the products at the shop of the suspect, they had never received anything. Neither the police nor the court documents provided information on the homepage set the defendant allegedly bought from the dark web. However, as there are plenty of fraud-related items being sold on darknet marketplaces and forums, the service could be either a tutorial on how to set up a website, which could be used to scam victims, or a complete pack of tools (maybe along with instructions) allowing the customers to set up the fraud operation they need.
According to the accusation, the funds victims paid for the non-existent electronic goods landed on various financial accounts, which the 24-year-old set up using the help of a 21-year-old accomplice. Court records stated that the defendant acquired a fake passport (most possibly from the dark web) and used it to create accounts at payment services using a fictional name. Thus, the main suspect made huge profits from the scam operation. Police claimed that the accused made approximately 69,000 euros, and the funds were managed by the 21-year-old accomplice. According to the court documents, the defendant bought a recording studio from the money he made, while he kept the remaining funds in encrypted bitcoin wallets. Together with the 21-year-old, the defendant is also accused of physically injuring a 20-year-old from Windeck, who had threatened to make a complaint.
The accused partially confessed. He admitted that he had been involved in the fraud, but he claimed that he played a minor role in the operation. The 24-year-old stated that a user from an internet forum named “Roland” was the one pulling the strings.
The trial begins in June, the 24-year-old is already placed into police custody. The 21-year-old’s trial will be held separately.