The dark web is the total number of all darknets. It is generally considered a haven for shady characters, such as drug dealers, arms dealers, blackmailers, and sellers of stolen data. Many people know that the dark web exists, but very few know how to gain access to it.
However, hackers and criminals are not the only people who need privacy. Dissidents, free speech activists, whistleblowers who help investigative journalists, and many other people use the dark web to protect themselves from persecution and to communicate anonymously online. Others use the dark web because they want to protect themselves from data collection on the Internet. There are, of course, many safe and affordable tools for this purpose, but some people prefer a more radical approach.
Financial fraud, the ancient act of depriving people of their money or capital by deceptive or illegal means, is flourishing on the deep and dark web. Whether in hidden corners of dark web marketplaces and encrypted chat apps or in plain sight on open web platforms, criminals are finding new fertile grounds to defraud, steal and launder money generated from their illicit activity. Some cyber fraudsters started communities where they publish illicit tutorials and services that help other criminals carry out financial fraud.
Our cyber investigators and analysts have explored our data feeds from deep and dark web platforms and securely identified 3 main types of financial fraud:
Theft – Criminals are unlawful obtaining personal financial information, such as credit card numbers, CVVs or bank account numbers, bank login details, banknotes and others to illegally withdraw money from an account.
Investment Fraud – Threat actors mislead investors by making false promises and hiding facts when selling investments or securities.
Money laundering – Money launderers use platforms on the dark web to sell or transfer items purchased with laundered funds.
We see financial data entities sold to various different sources daily, which proves just how easy it is for criminals to carry out financial fraud. Credit cards, BIN numbers, CVVs, PayPal accounts, crypto wallets, bank logs, banknotes, fake money, etc. are illegally traded and sold on dark web marketplaces, data stores (marketplaces for stolen data like login credentials, cookies, PIIs, etc.), hacking forums, paste sites and chat applications.
A common method for criminals on the dark web who abuse legal services and sites for fraud activity. For example, Smart Mixer or Dark Wallet are cryptocurrency mixing sites that can be manipulated for money laundering. A coin mixing system combines the transaction of a user with the transaction of other random users who happen to be making separate transactions through the system at the same time. It blends the bitcoins belonging to two or more users so that they appear to be coming from the same source.
Payments to the seller can be made in chunks based on the original price or at a delayed date, making it nearly impossible to figure out who made a particular transaction. Crypto coin mixing has also led to crypto mixing scams, in which criminals pay a service only to discover it has no value.
Stolen Crypto Wallets
In the image below, we show an example of stolen BTC addresses offered for sale on a dark web marketplace for stolen Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallets, called BTC WALLETS. The complexity of cracking crypto wallet addresses and tokens makes this kind of financial hacking highly skillful. See an example of such a list below:
The other types of financial fraud and financial crimes on Dark Web would include trading of real:
- Stolen Credit Cards Data,
- Stolen Bank Details,
- Stolen/Fake/Counterfeit Money,
- Buying of fictious crypto currency,
- Prepaid Cards with fake statements