Security firm Pandalabs investigated the online underworld’s menu of services and has surveyed the going rates for various kinds of fraud. Stolen credit card numbers can be had for as little as $2, but these are like buying a mystery bag. Crooks don’t know the cardholder’s info and there’s no assurance that it will actually work. So for $80 thieves will sell a debit card with a guaranteed (small) balance. To get access to a big balance of $82,000, that will run ya $700.
It’s a bit disarming to peer into the world of online fraud and see how easily and cheaply stolen bank account information gets transacted. What if your number was among the bundles of data getting passed back and forth?
That’s why it’s important to protect yourself by only using a credit card when shopping online, knowing how to identify and ignore phishing attempts, and routinely scanning your statements for fraudulent charges.
There is some consolation in one of the barriers to entry: as much as crooks are ripping us off, they’re also ripping each other off, selling each other bogus or used-up batches of numbers or fake fake credit card skimmers that don’t work or are never delivered.