The Business of Fraud at Street Level Goes Public

The Business of Fraud at Street Level Goes Public

October 28, 2021

An investigative report in the U.K. publication The Independent is showing to the wider world what fraud professionals have been up against for a while now: fraudsters share significant amounts of information among themselves. For many, according to The Independent investigation, providing the information itself has become their business.

Law enforcement in various jurisdictions has noted for several years that there is a significant transition at the lowest levels of crime from violent crime on the street to cybercrime and fraud. The investigation confirms that this is the case, in London at least, and is reporting it out to a general audience. Tech-savvy, low-income teens and young adults are selling “methods” to others who turn around and use those methods to perpetrate e-commerce fraud against businesses and scams against consumers.

This passage in the report shows how easy it has become and what merchants are facing:

“Karim showed me screengrabs of conversations on WhatsApp where someone had bought a single person’s ‘fullz’ (i.e., name, date of birth, address, phone, credit card details, bank details and memorable name, everything they needed for identity theft) for £25 and a package of 10 for £200.

Charlie explained: ‘Once you got methods and fullz, you can get anything you want. You pay say £300 for a method that gets you into a website that sells £1,000 designer jackets and your fullz will work maybe five or 10 times, so that’s £10k in jackets before they realize they been scammed and shut the loophole.’”

Access to information that lets anyone become a fraudster has seemingly never been easier to obtain.

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