The number of cases of personal information being put up for sale on the dark web has continued to rise.
Social Security Numbers and credit card information are sold on the dark web, typically in batches, then used for malicious activities such as phishing, fraudulent purchases and identity theft, leaving unsuspecting victims tangled with legal and financial issues.
Credit card information is a particularly soft target for many of the dark web hackers.
These cases have necessitated an industry for monitoring services and scanning services.
The services involve monitoring the dark web for subscribers’ Social Security Numbers and personal information, alerting the relevant consumers if their information is found.
These services come at a cost, though.
Adding to a growing list of entrants to this new industry, Capital One, a credit card issuer, has launched such a service – but they won’t be charging a monthly fee like their competitors.
Capital One has introduced a Social Security Number tracking and alert service as an additional feature of its credit-tracking program, CreditWise.
This service will be available to everyone, giving credit card holders a reason to rejoice.
Credit card information scams have been the main trend on the dark web in recent years.
Credit card information is sold on the dark web, with buyers proceeding to max out the credit limits.
It is essentially the new version of buying PayPal account credentials.
Capital One’s CreditWise program involves three features:
- Subscribers will receive alerts from Experian and Transunion about any significant changes to the credit card reports.
- Subscribers will receive notification if their SSN is used to apply for credit anywhere.
- With this latest upgrade to the service, subscribers will now receive alerts if any of their personal information is detected on the dark web.
Though the first two features have been the staple of CreditWise, the addition of dark web monitoring is poised to take consumer protection to a new level.
This is a smart business move from Capital One, and it will almost certainly boost their business and increase the number of CreditWise subscribers.
Monitoring services aren’t new, but they have always attracted a fee – until now.
This is the first time the general public will get to enjoy such a service for free.
Many of the other companies either offer them at a fee or as a benefit to their cardholders, and many people have lost their hard-earned money to dark web scammers.
Unfortunately, the same scammers have already taken advantage of the desperate public.
Some scammers have been claiming to offer dark web monitoring services, but are actually setting up unsuspecting victims to hand over their credit card information and social security numbers.
According to Joe Whitchurch, the head of Creditwise at Capital One, the service will help the users better understand how to protect their information and guidance for taking the relevant steps in the unfortunate event that their information gets compromised.
In 2017, 14.2 million credit cards were exposed while 158 million Social Security Numbers were exposed.
These breaches continue to rise year over year, meaning millions of dollars have been lost to these scammers.
A service aimed at protecting the general public, such as CreditWise’s new feature, has been long overdue.
All the other players in the credit card industry need to get involved with such an initiative to ensure the dark web scammer can no longer reap where they have not sown, and Capital One is taking the lead.