Author Topic: A forum for fraudsters  (Read 2966 times)

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Offline Mir Alihan

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A forum for fraudsters
« on: August 29, 2008, 08:51:26 PM »
Rory Cellan-Jones
28 Aug 08, 17:03 GMT

In the last few days, I've entered a whole new web world. It's a place where people speak of getting "dumps... sniffed from ATMs" or using "blinds to cash out" or getting data through "rj 45 taps." The language belongs to a criminal community - the people who make a living out of credit card fraud.

They gather to swap tips and appeal for information on a number of web forums, and the one we've been looking at features some quite astonishingly brazen messages. The one which really caught our attention was about an attempt to use thousands of stolen US credit card details in British supermarkets. You can read the whole of it here.

The discussion on the crooks' forum is a bit of a wake-up call for all those who think that the introduction of chip-and-pin in the UK has wiped out card fraud. It has certainly made it harder - but the fact that the United States has yet to adopt the system gives the crooks a big opportunity in a crime which the internet has helped turn into a globalised business. So, as in this case, British fraudsters can buy stolen credit card details from the US and use them here because retailers still have to allow the "swipe and sign" option for overseas cards without a chip. Equally, card details stolen from UK consumers can be sold overseas for use in countries without chip-and-pin.

The author of the message appealing for information on where to use his cards - and offering "a ps3, 10 bottle of vodka or jd for weekend" in return - also has another post on the forum, generously offering advice on how to steal credit card details from cash machines. His guide to an "ATM skimmer" features photographs and technical details of a machine which is apparently attached to an ATM and then sends data to a mobile phone. Let's hope the police and the banks are studying this website too, and working out how to foil the fraudsters.

But a policeman I contacted admitted that it's a huge struggle to keep track of what's happening on these fraud forums - and virtually impossible to act against sites that are usually based abroad.

The fraudster describes his "interests" in his profile on the forum as: "Get rich... or Die Trying :)". By the sound of it, getting rich is still far too easy.

I suppose all of this is more proof that the internet is a brilliant way of organising people around the world with common interests. How sad that, all too often, those interest are criminal.

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