Most popular purchases made on stolen cards

23 August 2017

These days most consumers are worried about the security of their financial information. From hackers breaking into the accounts of thousands of cardholders to the theft of a single person’s identity, it seems like threats to financial data come from all angles. Accordingly, it is no surprise that the average consumer wonders just what a thief can do with their stolen card information. As it turns out, thieves have plenty of options, when it comes to using someone else’s bankcard.

When criminals get their hands on your card information, there are at least three things they can do with it: sell it to others online, use it to buy things online, or make a counterfeit card using your stolen card information. Whichever they choose, the end result will likely be purchases on your card bill that you did not authorize.

Scammers can use your card number to purchase just about anything, but what are the things they are buying most commonly? Read on to discover the most popular items thieves are purchasing with stolen cards.

Luxury goods (Rolex watch, Louis Vuitton handbag, diamond engagement ring, etc). For thieves who take the time to create a counterfeit card using your card’s information, buying luxury items like jewelry and high-end goods maximizes the return they get for each purchase. They can buy these items at a store and then sell them online at a discount and still walk away with a tidy sum. Look for charges in the thousands of dollars for items like luxury watches, diamond rings, or designer handbags.

Luxury goods

Electronics (MacBook Air, smartwatches, device case, etc). Electronics can be expensive and are always in demand. These too can be purchased in a store using a counterfeit card and then sold at a discount. For example, Apple products have a high resale value, so criminals will max out your card to stock up on MacBook Airs and smartwatches in order to sell them. Other electronic items, such as cases for smartphones and tablets, are in great demand. While cases typically sell for low prices, they are popular. Almost everyone buys one for their devices, so there is a huge market for them. They can be resold on Amazon, eBay and other websites.

Digital products (Best Buy gift cards, iTunes vouchers). Gift cards are extremely popular for credit card thieves. They are anonymous and can be used like cash in the stores that offer them. iTunes and Best Buy gifts are sold for above face value on bidding sites like eBay. This means that naturally, thieves like to buy these gift cards and resell them for even higher amounts.

Video games (World of Warcraft gold, etc). People who deal in stolen credit cards may also enjoy playing video games during their off time. World of Warcraft first came out 12 years, but it is still a massively popular game. This online game allows you to use gold to level up and buy gear and other essentials. Gold is highly coveted. Players spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars buying digital gold, and you can expect that scammers may want to do the same.

Business services (hosting services, remote hosting, logo/website design). Like any business, card criminals have monthly expenses they need to pay for. Thieves typically scam consumers by creating fake websites. Once the fraudulent website is up and running, your scammer will need to pay for hosting services to keep the site functioning. Therefore, if you find charges on your card for graphic or webpage design, the scammer is using it to pay for his scamming schemes.

Business services

Legitimacy-boosting (search engine optimization, coupons for Facebook ads, phone-verified accounts, etc). Facebook advertisements, website hosts, and search engine optimization are also linked to the technological trend. Often, people capable of stealing card information from electronic sources are also attempting to create legitimate-appearing online companies that can be used to scam more consumers. So the scammers will need to find their fake sites in order for them to steal your card information. Search engine optimization puts their sites on the first page of Google search results to make it easier for the thieves to steal your cash. In addition, more than 1 billion people use Facebook. Getting ads on the social network is definitive in marketing. Your ad will be exposed to roughly 1/7 of the world’s population. That is a lot of potential customers to be scammed.

Food and fun (pizza, drinks, luxury hotel rooms, etc). After a busy day of hacking, cybercriminals need to relax too. It may seem weird that a scammer would steal your card just to buy pizza, but it is a functional purchase. Pizza helps fuel thieves as they stay up all night looking for new ways to scam others. Also, scammers like to conduct their business in high-scale hotel rooms so it is harder for them to get caught.

This list of items provides valuable insight into the type of people who commit credit card fraud. If you notice any of these items on your credit card statement and cannot remember buying them, it is important to contact your credit card company as soon as possible. All in all, if you think your stolen credit card will not be used online, you are going to face rude awakening. Thieves are always thinking ahead.

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