Law enforcement authorities in New Jersey announced a major arrest in an identity theft case in the iGaming industry. Casey Ennis was arrested after a 17-month investigation by New Jersey authorities into ongoing allegations of multiple cases of identity theft. New Jersey police claim Ennis stole more than 1,800 accounts on multiple online gaming sites within the state.
The case is tipped to attract the attention of the online gambling industry as Ennis amassed a $52,000 payday from the said fraud. Online gambling providers are set to re-examine their security procedures to learn how Ennis was able to bypass their identity checks. According to the arresting officers, Ennis used the stolen identities to claim false unemployment benefits.
New Jersey Police Track Suspect for Over 12 Months
The New Jersey Division of Gambling launched an investigation in January 2020 after detectives received a tip on a case involving suspicious online gambling activity. According to a statement released by the New Jersey State Police, authorities allege that Ennis created several hundred gaming accounts from stolen identities. New Jersey law enforcement authorities allege that Ennis used these stolen identities to create more than 1,800 gaming accounts with Atlantic City online casinos.
Multiple Complaints Force DGE to Act
After receiving multiple complaints, local authorities executed a search warrant on Ennis’s home that resulted in a seizure of more than 30 electronic devices, a stash of methamphetamine, and stolen cash. Local authorities were quick to highlight the win.
“Identity theft is often traumatic for the victims, because it is by nature one of the most invasive and intimate non-violent crimes there is, and in addition to the individual victims, businesses and consumers as a whole suffer the negative financial consequences of financial fraud,” a New Jersey Police Spokesman said in a statement.
Several law enforcement officials watched the case with interest, given the wide-ranging nature of the alleged crimes. DGE Director David Rebuck pointed out the dangers of identity theft to the online gambling industry.
“Whether we’re talking about online gaming, shopping, banking, or other activities once exclusively conducted in person, more people are putting more personal information on the web than ever,” Rebuck said.
“In addition, many consumers now prefer to use a card instead of cash at the point of sale, all of which, unfortunately, creates more opportunity for identity thieves,” he added.
A Surge in Identity Theft over The Last 12 Month
The restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the perfect storm for online fraudsters over the last 12 months. With more people under lockdown conditions, online gaming usage has surged over the 2020 period.
Authorities and financial regulators are urging users to be wary of the online digital transaction process as fraudsters use more sophisticated methods to search out new victims.