Marketplaces on the Dark Web (3/4)
A major segment of the profit-seeking activities on the dark web is financial transactions (sale of stolen accounts, gift cards, cryptocurrency mixers, etc.). The dark web is teeming with offers that promise quick and easy money. These types of services are so popular that the ten most replicated sites (in number of mirrors) are all financial transaction sites.
1 – Cryptomoney websites
|[OFFICIAL & ORIGINAL] BITCOIN x200 SERVICE – ©2021||6923|
|Stolen Cards | Plastic Sharks||1858|
|AUTOMATED PAYPAL AND CREDIT CARD MARKET||1838|
|Amazon Gift Cards||1816|
|Fast Money | Accounts & Transfers||1790|
|Buy Real Money | The Way||1775|
|BITCARDS – Prepaid cards||1753|
|Dumps PayPal & Dumps Credit Card – Shop hacked PayPal accounts and credit card details||1702|
|Best Financial Service||1670|
We have also noticed that the Bitcoin x200 site has increased from 4,000 mirrors to almost 7,000 since January 202 – we won’t analyse the suspicious nature of this explosion in mirrors since we covered this topic in Volume 1. However, we must give credit where credit is due. The Bitcoin x200 Service site claims to exploit a flaw in the Bitcoin transaction system. If what they say is true (highly unlikely), it is possible to conduct transactions in which the seller receives more money than the buyer sent. This creates artificial funds and can generate significant revenue. The rest of the sales pitch is predictable: invest at least 0.005 Bitcoins for a return of one Bitcoin.
2 – Bitcoin mixer services
We have also found Bitcoin mixer services on the dark web. This service, also called Bitcoin blender or Bitcoin tumbler, adds a layer of anonymity to Bitcoin transactions for those who wish to protect their privacy. At least that is what is promised since the main purpose of these systems is more mundane: launder money of dubious origin. These mixers seem to operate similarly to mixers on the clear web.
3 – the sale of pirated bank accounts
Another very prevalent activity on the dark web is the sale of pirated bank accounts. Many sites with evocative and even clever names sell all the information buyers need to use the account for a certain percentage of the available balance.
Bank accounts are not the only hacked payment methods sold on the dark web. Some sites specialise in selling Paypal accounts or Bitcoin wallets.
4 – packages that include physical means of payment
While the vendors mentioned above only provide electronic information, other sites offer complete packages that include physical means of payment (bank cards, chequebooks, etc.). These payment methods can be used to purchase goods or withdraw money from cash dispensers. These are generally not hacked accounts but rather artificially generated prepaid cards that allow buyers to modify the information.
5 – gift cards
Another payment method is available on the dark web: major retailer gift cards that are often sold for a quarter of their value. Vendors claim they are not selling fraudulent products but can offer abnormally low prices because they buy the gift cards in large volumes at a significant discount. We can appreciate this attempt at bolstering their credibility, just as we are amused to see the GC King Market site warning users about scams on the dark web.
Though many of the offers we presented above do not seem credible, bank accounts are actually hacked and resold on the dark web every day. This will keep happening until bank (or other) account holders are properly informed of the threats they face.