Buy A Stolen Debit Card For $80

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.

Cyber-crime black market undercovered [Pandalabs]
Business booming for cyber criminals: security firm [AFP]


Edit Your Comment

  1. lehrdude says:

    Is there a Consumerist equivalent for fraudsters?

    Where… “Scammers Bite Back!”

  2. Southern says:

    There has GOT to be a better way of protecting VISA/DEBIT cards.. Using either “smartchip” techology (WIC and Food stamp cards in Texas use this technology now) or having every charge SMS your phone (which you have to approve), or using a seperate RSA key that generates a unique 6 digit number every 60 seconds that has to be input after the PIN… SOMETHING. There’s just too much fraud out there for these companies to simply bury their head in the sand and continue with the status quo.

    “Verified by Visa” was a good attempt to fight online fraud, but barely got off the ground. :(

    • Blueskylaw says:

      I’m sure they have the technology to do this. Problem is that they pass the losses from fradulent charges on to the store by saying they didn’t properly identify the charger/purchaser. They also make so much money from normal operations that if they start adding “layers” of security to a transaction, the reduction in transactions from this increased “burden” to the consumer will reduce profit, so sometimes it’s better to leave an innefficient/insecure alone.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        innefficient/insecure “system” alone

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        They’re using this technology in Europe. The issue in the US is infrastructure, as you basically said. Getting every merchant, down to mom-and-pop stores, ready to use that technology is a massive endeavor, and many merchants would refuse to bear the cost.

        Basically, if Wal-Mart says “no, we refuse to implement this technology”, Visa and Mastercard will not insist on it. Large merchants like that have a lot of pull in how the system works.

        • Firethorn says:

          The way I look at it, it can be done fairly easily, if gradually.

          1. Start issuing cards with chips.
          2. Figure out the average fraud difference between ‘chip’ transactions and magnetic stripe transactions.
          3. Split the difference with the companies.

          Of course, aren’t online transactions how ‘a lot’ of fraud happens in the USA right now?

          Having been in Europe – I WANT to have chipped credit cards, and a seperate number set for use online – preferably 2-3, actually. This way my card is still good if somebody gets ahold of my online numbers.

          So I’d have: Card, Online number 1(one off purchaeses), Online number 2(cell phone), Online number 3(electric bill), #4(ISP), etc… If this would burden the CC Companies too much, just have 2 – combine all the ‘per month’ services into 1.

          • jamar0303 says:

            I have a couple of Chinese bank accounts. One of the banks I use gives me a virtual Visa number for online purchases but no Visa logo on my debit card. And it has a few chipped credit cards available as an option. (It was also a PITA to get them to issue me a credit card; they started me off with a limit equivalent to US$1.50 and only kicked it up… to about US$75 after I showed a record of paying it off for a couple of months; on the plus side it means that other students less financially astute than I won’t be stuck too far if they can’t handle it).

        • Southern says:

          That’s too bad.. When Texas switched over to the new cards with WIC, they basically told Walmart, “Well, we’re switching. If you don’t want to take WIC, that’s your decision”.. Apparently Wal-Mart had a change of heart pretty quickly, looking at all those $millions$ of dollars (especially in formula) going out the window. :-)

          Texas wouldn’t be much of a problem for these type cards, as even the “Mom and Pop” stores are getting these machines now (because they can’t accept the Food Stamp card without them).. but Texas is probably the only state that has made this switchover.

    • jason in boston says:

      It’s an arms race. Just like with money, DRM, and physical security.

    • TasteyCat says:

      There is.

      Use credit cards.

    • TheGreySpectre says:

      One of the problems I had with verified by visa is that there password rules were exceedingly strict. That did not allow for long passwords or special characters, I think for a while your password had to be between 6 and 8 characters with no special characters, Ie it was very difficult to make a password that was both secure and memorable.

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    “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.”

    Does that come with a money back guarantee? I don’t want to spend $700 only to find out the card was cancelled an hour before I got it.

  4. Hoss says:

    How much for Gawker passwords?

  5. dush says:

    gotta spend money to make money

  6. Megalomania says:

    Keeping $82,000 on a debit card is probably a bad idea, scammers or not. I always recommend to my friends that they open a second checking account and transfer money to the account linked to their card when needed. If you need a lot of money in your account to actually write checks, you probably shouldn’t be using a debit card on it too.

  7. danmac says:

    Want to buy a stolen credit card number from me? My rates are very cheap…I take Mastercard, Visa, American Express…

  8. tinmanx says:

    I’ve been using my debit card online for Mastercard deals since it’s the only Mastercard I have. I’m actually not too worried, I don’t keep large amounts of money in my checking account, and I’m only using it in well known sites. It’s more of a concern for me when I use my debit card offline since skimmers are so easy to hide.

  9. dilbert69 says:

    Why would I want a card with an $82,000 balance? I’d like a card with $82,000 available credit.

  10. ConsumerPop says:

    We need Chris Hansen to host a show about this. Hi there, have a seat, do you know who I am?

  11. Chaosium says: