Scammers Scamming Scammers

from the online-cannibalism dept

Online scammers like to prey on people who, for whatever reason, won't go to authorities for help. It certainly helps the perpetrators of the Nigerian 419 scams that there's not much a person can do once they're deep into the scam. But one group that really can't seek help is the scammers themselves. Researchers at CypherTrust have observed clashes between the sellers of fake goods (like fake Viagra) and carders, old-fashioned scammers who buy things with stolen credit card numbers. Typically, the merchant hires a spammer who receives a cut of the sales generated from his millions of emails. But sometimes a carder will pretend to be a spammer, sign up to spam on behalf of a merchant, and then turnaround and ring up phony sales with stolen credit cards. The carder gets his own commission, while the merchant is faced with a deluge of complaints and chargebacks from the credit card company. To avoid this, computer criminals try to set up networks so that people know who they're working with. But just as phishers are able to impersonate a bank or PayPal, it's clear that attackers are vulnerable to the same techniques. Though Blue Security failed to beat back spammers using dirty tricks, perhaps more can be done by breaching the spammers' networks of trust.
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