FDLE: Former Navy Federal Employee Sold Member Account Info On The Dark Web

January 4, 2023

A former Navy Federal Credit Union employee has been charged by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement with selling customer information on the dark web.

Wade Hampton Helms, 34, of Arab, Alabama, was arrested on a FDLE warrant last week on one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices; eight counts of criminal use of personal identification information; 34 counts of unlawful possession of personal identification information; and one count of unlawful use of a two-way communications device. All charges are felonies.

FDLE’s investigation began in September 2022, when internal fraud investigators with a Pensacola-area credit union reported possible fraud related to Helms, who at the time lived in Pensacola and was an employee of the credit union.

Agents discovered that Helms misused his employee access to compromise dozens of credit union member accounts, taking the members’ personal identification information and providing it to third parties via the dark web. He also assisted the third parties to gain access to the credit union member accounts, resulting in the third parties stealing funds from the accounts.

The credit union has notified members whose information was compromised.

Helms was arrested by the Arab (Alabama) Police Department on the FDLE warrant and transported to Pensacola. He was booked into the Escambia County Jail and later released on a $47,000 bond. 


24 Responses to “FDLE: Former Navy Federal Employee Sold Member Account Info On The Dark Web”

  1. kendall916 on June 9th, 2023 10:07 pm

    I am very disappointed in NFU. I got hacked today with a caller from the Fraud Prevention line. In the past I would get calls from them and they were very good blocking and resending ne new cards when an outside person tried to hack my account. This time? Well according to NFCU I was talking to a spoofed number and now my bank account is blocked and all my money from my savings and checking account has been withdrawn. Is this how NFCU treats their long term customers? Shame on them!

  2. Joyce on June 1st, 2023 5:15 pm

    Today I received a phishing email that looked like it was from Navy Federal, about a recent transfer. Fortunately, when I clicked on it my browser flagged it as unsafe. 99% of phishing emails immediately look suspicious, but this one was fairly accurate, IMO. Just an FYI to be careful.

  3. LAWRENCE MUGG on May 25th, 2023 4:00 pm


  4. Mw on January 9th, 2023 10:53 pm

    Wow. I’m dealing with this now My account was compromised and I had 4800 taken from my account and I couldn’t figure out how or why. I’ve been denied as well saying there’s no error. I won’t be using navy credit union again

  5. Josh Jones on January 6th, 2023 9:38 am

    @Oby John

    File a complaint with the CFPB at https://www.consumerfinance.gov. They may help to get to the bottom of your issue.

  6. Oby John on January 5th, 2023 1:17 pm

    @Josh Jones,
    Navy Federal denied the fraud claim stating the investigation found no errors.
    I’ve filed a report and will go ahead to contact the third party banks.

    Navy Federal has failed me.

  7. David Waters on January 5th, 2023 12:51 pm

    Fyi..this dude is already planning to leave the US or go into hiding,this is Federal and FBI needs to be involved or they too deep into trying to arrest Trump,this government can’t be trusted,put your faith in God,trust no man.

  8. Josh Jones on January 5th, 2023 12:37 pm


    So you lost $15K, they denied fraud, and you’re just letting it go?

  9. Oby on January 5th, 2023 6:03 am

    I have been a member of the Navy Federal and my account had never been compromised until September 2022 when it got compromised and a total of $15,000 was fraudulently transferred from my account to external accounts and Navy Federal has denied my fraudulent claims stating they see no errors.

    In essence those transactions are not fraudulent and I see this today?
    Makes so much sense to me now how my account might have gotten compromised.

  10. Michael Key on January 4th, 2023 10:01 pm

    I’m a member and employee of NF. I’m also a member at a local based CU because they have earned my respect to keep that connection. I cannot speak highly enough about both organizations capabilities when it comes to matters like this.

    In my experience both have gone above and beyond to make sure you are made whole when suspicious events like this occur. Rest assured, they occur at every financial institution. It is incredibly impressive and reassuring the response time both have displayed in contacting me to validate purchases. I cannot say the same for banks, but I haven’t been a customer of a bank for a long time, for good reason.

    There are organizations with well written mission statements and organizations with poorly written mission statements. NF is the former. “Our members are the mission”.

  11. Zircon on January 4th, 2023 7:12 pm

    I wonder if he operated his own domain on the dark web or if he sold on the markets

  12. EMD on January 4th, 2023 5:22 pm

    I have been a NFCU member for around 45 years and they have always looked out for my account. Once, they saw something suspicious and tracked me down like super sleuths. Found me in a log cabin in the mountains of north GA. They went thru my post office and had to go to a lot of trouble to see where I might be. I had made a couple of purchases that were unlike my usual pattern. They have been very vigilant and I am grateful. As the integrity wanes from this world humans have messed up, I hope that NFCU never has an integrity problem. They are the best I’ve dealt with, so far.

  13. Grace on January 4th, 2023 2:58 pm

    Why is this not a federal crime?

  14. Dutton on January 4th, 2023 12:36 pm

    All done probably while working form home…

  15. The Kidd on January 4th, 2023 12:33 pm

    The sad thing about this crime is the people that he sold their identity will forever be chasing fraudulent attempts to use their identity. It will forever be on the dark web. The cost to these individuals will be enormous in terms of time, money, and frustration. The punishment should be severe!

  16. Kane on January 4th, 2023 11:03 am

    @TB sorry bud but your info along with most of the rest of ours is already on the dark web. We have had the I.R.S hacked we have had our national health data hacked we’ve had our banking and entertainment industries hacked (multiple times) rest assured your social your address your phone number is already out there.

    The only thing keeping you safe are the companies you complain about monitoring their own systems for hackers and thieves. Who do you think got this guy detective columbo? Nope it was NF monitoring their own systems and accounts.

  17. Kane on January 4th, 2023 10:58 am

    You guys commenting on this have never been victims of identity theft have you? IF YOU REPORT IT (that’s the important part) and it’s proven (which in this case it most certainly is) that those charges where fraudulent you wont be held responsible for them. Even back in good ol’ 2001 when my brother-in-law had his stolen and the thief ran up thousands of dollars in his name he paid zero of it back because the lady that did it was arrested and charged just like the genius in this article.

  18. Don cooper on January 4th, 2023 10:39 am

    NFCU will make good on any

  19. TB on January 4th, 2023 9:06 am

    It’s a dirty rotten shame, that businesses that hold your personal information and release it all they do is offer you “One year” of a credit monitoring service, the rest of the subscriptions are on you.
    Your personal information is now on the “Dark Web” forever. And you only get “One year” of credit monitoring by a 3rd party.
    I wonder if the business that compromised your personal information in the first place gets some sort of compensation from the Credit monitoring service by steering you towards them.
    Maybe the account holders should all retain a lawyer and “Sue” the clown that sold their information, wouldn’t get much but would have a permanent lien on anything he ever owns in his lifetime, gotta send a message somehow.

  20. Mel on January 4th, 2023 8:46 am

    Was the amount he received from selling out his customers worth the felony and jail time? Where did he learn about this “side job” because he is not the first or last. Note the customers are military who have better things to think about, like readiness, than trying to secure their compromised data.

  21. Just Saying on January 4th, 2023 7:33 am

    Most businesses will offer free credit monitoring if your account has been compromised.

  22. Thomas Epting Jr on January 4th, 2023 6:13 am


  23. mike on January 4th, 2023 5:01 am

    Well, this will be interesting to see if NFCU customers get their money back. The article says nothing about it. I imagine one of the resident know it alls on this site will be along shortly to strut their stuff y’all. :D

  24. Jcellops on January 4th, 2023 3:16 am

    Released on bail? With no stipulations? Scary.I hope, if he’s found guilty, that he’s sued in civil court for damages, pain and suffering by those CU members whose identities have been compromised (for life) by him. If he’s found guilty, he should also lose ALL assets to help make his victims whole again. I guess I should go check my own NavFed account for new messages!.

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