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Our dedicated teams are investing large amounts of time and energy in identifying the latest trends amongst fraudsters. We have heard it from the market and seen it in the darknet forums: alternatives to cash are the new gold for fraudsters. We are talking about loyalty points, discounts, gift cards and many other schemes put forward by companies in order to increase loyalty amongst their customers.

Watch Rodrigo Camacho, Chief Commercial Officer at Nethone, who in a very down-to-earth yet figurative manner explains why gift cards are the easiest way to extract value from stolen credit cards?

We predict that over 2020 this is going to be the fastest-growing attack vector for fraudsters for a few reasons:

  • It requires less effort to resell: There are plenty of places in the dark market where one can buy illegally acquired goods. Among digital ones, gift cards are very popular. Fraudsters see them as more "safe" and easier to be sold. Just to give an example, while carding physical things you have to take additional measures to receive the package, what means higher risk of getting caught.
  • It is less regulated: The financial system is highly regulated which obliges all companies touching credit card numbers or moving money to comply with certain security measures. These alternatives to cash are not regulated and are in turn less secure.
  • The cost of laundering is much lower: Stealing a service or a good forces the bad actor to sell that same service or good for a discount in order to launder the money they “invested”. When operating with alternative forms of cash, they are obtaining something which is very similar to cash, which means the cost of laundering is often much lower. Often below 3-5%.
  • Criminal charges are less severe: When someone decides to steal, they are making the compromise between the risk they are taking and the reward they will obtain. In the case of alternative forms of cash the risk they are taking is lower which should increase the volume of bad actors in the environment. Summary: The presentation will cover an introduction to basic online carding processes including credit cards and money flow. We will give the answers for burning questions e.g. why gift cards are the target, where carders sell them, in what ways giftcards resolve carders problems with cashout and security? In addition, we will indicate real examples of brands which are popular in Darknet in the “giftcards corner”. The icing on the cake is that we will have tips ready in hand for all who struggle with this issue or are in the process of issuing the gift cards and would like to know best practices beforehand.

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