Carding employs the use of illegitimately obtained cards offered by various financial institutions to drain funds from an account without the consent of the owner.
It is an art that requires skill and perfection gained from experience to record success.
It is therefore vital that those involved in the vice understand the terminologies used as well as the modus operandi.
There are various reasons as to why carding is among the most popular types of fraud on the dark web, and these reasons are more than enough to justify the hypothesis.
Plenty of avenues to obtain cards
There are hundreds of places—including darknet markets and sites running on standard browsers—that offer the sale of credit/debit cards of various types and levels.
The sites have multiple URLs that redirect the end user to the same login page.
The other factor that makes this even more common is the existence of several forums offered for the carding community. Among them, one of the most well-known is the club2crd forum, where vendors from various regions post ads to what they have.
The forum also has a live chat which is open to every logged-in user, but the only issue is that many users speak Russian only and, as such, the average English-speaking persons are left out of the discussions.
The competition is high in the carding practice. Sellers even go to the extent of posting adverts to get more clients, leading to higher sales. It is a benefit because those who intend to offer dubious services will think twice.
Low cost of getting cards
Depending on the level, type and origin country of the card, one can obtain them for as little as $10 (USD), based on the place they outsource them.
However, some vendors are well known and much more reputable than others. As a result, they end up charging a higher fee for the sale of the card due to the refund policy they have.
For instance, if the card is dead or has security features rendered impassable, then there is a refund if the issue is reported within a particular time frame.
One should be very careful when purchasing cards, as not just any of them are card-able. Various methods of trial and error are applied as some cards have excessive security measures in place, such as sending a One Time Password (OTP) to the owner.
If the carder does not have access to this, they cannot do anything, forcing them to abort the mission.
Those vendors who sell cards are aware of the Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) that are attached to the cards. They can also identify which cards record high rates of success, as well as the ones that are likely to have huge sums of money.
Doing so makes them figure out the perfect one to obtain.
In some cases, vendors state that if they sell a card which has a two-factor guard, it does not warrant a refund. This is how they lure in unsuspecting buyers into a fraud scheme—if a person purchases such a card, then they will not reap any benefits.
Money transfer platforms susceptible to carding
Online financial institutions that offer money transfer services such as PayPal, WordRemit, SendWave, Skrill and Neteller are very fond among carders due to their ability to accept cards as a funding source.
Once a card (which is card-able) is obtained by the carder, they will then add the card to their preferred platform and upload funds until they reach an absolute limit or until all the money on the account is exhausted.
Then upon uploading funds, they can use the platforms to pay for goods or services, or to send them to other accounts. And for platforms like Skrill which do not have the option of sending to the mobile wallet, then they do so with ease.
However, when the victim realizes that the funds are missing from their account, they then file a dispute with the financial institution that offered the card.
The money will then receive a chargeback, leading to certain limitations or the termination of the account.
There are, however, some instances where the account does not get a chargeback, and mostly this happens when a dispute is not filed—possibly because the owner fails to notice missing funds.
Countless avenues to pay with cards
More and more businesses adopt cards as the primary payment option due to their convenience and the fact that the majority of the world’s population has acquired either a debit or credit card.
The above reason allows carders a list of endless options where they can initiate withdrawals and spend funds in accounts that do not belong to them.
The practice is widespread across the globe and will depend on the skill and experience of the one undertaking the operation. Since these cards have unique security features, it is vital that one understands the modalities.
Institutions that issue cards have beefed up security features so that when a card is used in a new geographical region or on some specific platform, it gets rejected.
Since there are hundreds of thousands of cards available on the dark web, some of the measures taken to prevent carding have proved useful whereas others are still not effective as the rate of cyber fraud from credit cards continues to increase.
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