The ‘dark web’, the home of the internet’s black market, is a seedy storefront for all manner of illicit goods, including stolen identities.
Those stolen identities – files crammed full of personal information about defrauded individuals – can be bought, on average, for $20.35.
That’s according to a new report by Quartz, which sheds light on the dark web’s crooked network of fraud.
The article reveals “eBay-like marketplaces” where anyone can purchase the full set of someone’s personal information a.k.a ‘fullz’.
Research uncovered over 600 listings for individual identities, some of which included sensitive data like credit card information.
The listings start at under $1 for basic information, but prices quickly rise for “premium” identities.
Image credit: Quartz
For instance, the most expensive ‘fullz’ revealed in the report was listed at a staggering $454.05 – that’s courtesy of a vendor called ‘OsamaBinFraudin’.
The high mark-up was thanks to the victim’s high credit score, as the vendor explains (typos uncorrected):
“hello this ad if for usa profiles that have been freshly created and already currently have 720 credit scores or higher with no current bad history and no fraud alert you can use profiles for your own identity to get loans cars housing anything u can use a identity with perfect credit the profile will come with full name addresses associated with profile ssn dob credit karma login to verfiy credit score price is high because these profiles are pre built and already have high credit scores and you can use these identities as your own long as you like”
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Another identity, which was valued at $248.22, was claimed to come with an American Express card with a limit of $10,000.
Less glamorous listings including information like names, addresses, social security numbers, mother’s maiden names, and “dead” i.e. non-working, credit cards.
What’s particularly shocking is that out of the 612 identity listings discovered, exactly 552 were listed at under $50.
Of course, it’s impossible to tell whether the apparently defrauded information is legitimate, for want of a better word.
That means that it’s entirely possible people looking to use defrauded profiles for dodgy purposes could be scammed themselves. Sweet irony.