Financial information, personal identifiers, payment methods, and all other aspects of your online presence are targets for theft by malicious entities, who often resell this information on the dark web. A common strategy is to steal credit (and other payment) card information, which poses serious risks to the financial health of individuals across the globe. With approximately 4.5 million card details available for purchase on the dark web, a variety of stakeholders including cardholders, financial institutions, and merchants must evaluate their risk levels and respond appropriately. NordVPN’s analysis of stolen card information reveals that cardholders from Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand face the highest likelihood of having their information sold. The U.S. performed better than the previous three nations, but continues to lag behind Canada, China, Germany, and India.
“Among US cardholders, Visa was easily the most popular card brand. This seems to match the worldwide average, with 2,524,142 Visa cards found on the dark web, compared with 1,602,248 Mastercard and 215,971 American Express cards. It’s also worth noting that standard card types were at least twice as likely to be found stolen as premium ones.”
NordVPN reported that the worldwide average price to purchase the details of a payment card on the dark web was less than $10, which partially explains the growing instances of criminal fraud in the U.S. market, particularly in the e-commerce space. In response to the growing risks faced by merchants due to fraud and associated chargebacks, Mercator Advisory Group has recently published Chargebacks: Increases in Credit Card Disputes Threaten Merchant Profitability, a research report that analyzes the key factors, market trends, and response options available for merchants.
Overview by Shreyas Shaktikumar, Research Analyst at Mercator Advisory Group