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Cat, Mouse, and Credit Card Fraud

Blog Post

If it isn’t a victimless crime, it isn’t the perfect crime, and it certainly isn’t legal- what is it? Many have wondered how online fraud sites and card thieves consistently get away with their scandalous activities while they must expose themselves publicly in order for their schemes to work. It’s a simple question, but the answer is somewhat multifaceted.

First of all, a large part of the problem is the fact that credit card thieves and fraud sites usually have plenty of backup sites ready to switch to when one goes down. With all of the work required to shut a site down, it is barely worth it when the site will simply appear under a different domain name within the course of a few hours. Taking down sites that have these backup domains is like trying to mow your lawn with a pair of scissors.

But another important thing to remember is that taking down a fraud site can be a temporary solution, but a more effective means of stopping criminal activity is to catch the actual suspect. Using these sites, law enforcement and researchers can often collect important data regarding criminal activity which may lead to a better alternative than nearly taking down a site. Bonus: they may get to put the bad guy behind bars.

Unfortunately, there are only so many bad guys that law enforcement could put behind bars if they were caught. This is because a large amount of cyber activity involving credit card theft and resale comes from countries where international law enforcement isn’t exactly the top priority. Russia, for example, would be much quicker to rally the troops if the hackers and cyber bandits within their borders were targeting Russian companies.

These obstacles are the reason that online criminal activity is so hard to stop, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Because these fraud shops rely heavily on customer loyalty and in turn, building a good reputation, the best way to stop them may be to interfere on that end rather than ending the site directly.