Computer Crime Research Center


Market of stolen credit cards: demand determines supply

Date: February 13, 2004
By: Dmitri Kramarenko

Thousands of credit card numbers are sold every week on not so numerous cyber markets. These markets are accessible only by authorized users. Costs of credit cards vary in accordance with supply and demand. Such markets open opportunities for criminals that cause damage at the rate of more than $ 1 billion to financial systems annually.

These markets also illustrate how easily one can steal and sell personal information in the time of computer age. Prices for cards are fluctuating between $ 0.4 and $ 5 per card, depending on information given. Usually cards are traded in large lots, at prices from $ 100 for 250 pieces up to $ 1000 for 5 thousand. At this, sellers guarantee that credit cards are valid to use.

According to experts, geography of buyers covers the whole world, but the largest share falls on countries of the former USSR, Eastern Europe, Asia and Malaysia. Buyers apply cards in different types of fraud, including purchasing goods through the Internet or money withdrawal.

Losses from online deals are greater that losses from offline deals: 0.25% against 0.09% for VISA and 0.25% against 0.08% for MasterCard and are measured in 9-digit numbers, the head of Computer Security Institute states.

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