Russian Fraud Ring Uses E-Commerce Marketplace to Test Accounts

Russian Fraud Ring Uses E-Commerce Marketplace to Test Accounts

July 16, 2020

A fraud ring based in Russia managed to pull off an account-testing scheme through fake listings on an e-commerce marketplace. 


Sift’s Q2 2020 Digital Trust & Safety Index details how the group of 15 fraudsters in Russia with identical IP addresses (an organized fraud ring) worked together to test dozens of credit cards and digital wallets by posting fraudulent content listings on an e-commerce marketplace.


The group, which Sift has named Bargain Bear, used fake listings and sold items to each other in order to vet stolen data, “negotiating” the costs of those items down so that the exchanges appeared more legitimate. 


“This allowed Bargain Bear to test payment information in order to make much larger purchases thereafter,” said Sift officials in a summary. “The attempted scam also sought to bolster the fraud ring’s legitimacy on the marketplace by having the 'buyer' post positive, yet fake, reviews.”


Content Fraud Turns Consumers Away


Overall, the report found content abuse surged in 2020, with attempted scam and spam postings increasing 109 percent between January and May 2020, year-over-year. Content abuse is typically financially motivated, with content designed to facilitate scams making up nearly half of the attacks Sift blocked. 


“This increase is likely connected to the global disruption caused by the coronavirus as fraudsters have used content to deceive and exploit consumers on e-commerce sites and online communities,” said Sift.


But consumers expect their information to be protected, as 56 percent of consumers surveyed by Sift said that if they discovered that their personal information had been exposed as a result of a scam on a website, they would stop using the site or service and choose a different provider.  

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Joan Goodchild

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