Employees of 13 banks questioned about selling customer data

By Ngoc Truong   June 20, 2023 | 07:40 pm PT
Employees of 13 banks questioned about selling customer data
A screenshot of bank account information advertised online. Photo courtesy of Da Nang police
Employees of 13 banks have been summoned for questioning over the largest data theft ever uncovered in Vietnam.

The Da Nang Police’s Division of Cybersecurity and Crime Prevention using High Technology said Tuesday they have launched an investigation into illegal collection, storage, trade, and publication of information about bank accounts.

Some people had openly posted on social media platforms like Facebook, Telegram and Zalo they could "scan personal information of customers of 22 major banks in the country," the police said.

Nam, 30, of Da Nang was arrested and a number of other bank employees in various localities across the country were questioned.

Nam said he and his partner uploaded posts offering information about people’s bank accounts.

When someone wanted to buy information such as someone's personal ID number, address or phone number, he would contact online sources and some bank employees on the take to obtain it.

Depending on the bank, he would pay his source VND200,000-1.9 million (US$8.5-80.76) out of VND300,000-2.2 million he would demand from his client.

Le Cao Tam, head of the cybersecurity division, said many bank employees had admitted to selling information to Nam.

One employee in HCMC said he had logged into the bank's internal system and took the information from three accounts, and also got more from his former colleagues at other banks before selling it to Nam for VND200,000-400,000 per account.

Another bank employee in Da Nang said she had sold information related to 25 accounts to Nam for VND500,000 each.

Nam also used fake information to open around 400 bank accounts and sold them online for around VND700 million in total.

Tam said this was the first major theft in Vietnam of bank account information.

"The case is a warning for banks, showing that data leak is not solely because of technological issues."

*Names of the suspects have been changed.

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