The most common crime that occurs from gangs in the dark web is stolen credit information and subsequent credit card fraud. Yes, gangs on the dark web exist and often use theft or cryptocurrency to trade anonymously, transfer, or gain money through crime. Not only do they sell drugs, but also everything from weapons to exotic animals, copyrighted materials, human organs, and even humans exploited by trafficking.
Why Do Criminals Use the Dark Web?
The dark web is the perfect place for crime. As the name implies, it is the dark underbelly of the internet that you use every day. Gangs prefer the dark web as, unlike the URL’s you commonly access with search engines such as Google, it can be used in secret. You will not find the deep web’s sites listed on popular search engines, nor are they indexed as ‘.com.’
All materials on the dark web consist of purposefully hidden information that is only accessible through special software such as a Tor browser, a.k.a., The Onion Router, which you use to connect and access specific dark websites. By using that Tor browser, the privacy of the dark web is maintained for the sites and those accessing it, as each server connects and routes through connections throughout the world.
The content found can range from useful to shocking, or even deadly. Although a lot of the information on the dark web seeks to remain hidden, there are also times when information is only absent from indexing because search engines have trouble locating it. Typically the ‘deep web’ stands for sites that search engines have trouble finding, while the ‘dark web’ refers to intentionally hidden sites only accessible with a Tor browser.
The dark web is considered to be the majority of the internet, even though it is filled with suspect dealings. The surface web, or web that we access day to day, is only about .003% – 4% of total web content, leaving 96% of remaining material beneath that surface and invisible to most search engines.
Besides nefarious sites, the dark web also has plenty of information about bitcoin, blogs, books, hosting sites, and anonymous email tools. Unfortunately, crime and credit card fraud is what it is most famous for.
Credit Card Fraud by Gangs in the Dark Web
First, They Access the Dark Web
Here’s how it typically works – a criminal will use their cryptocurrency or bitcoin to buy stolen credit card information.
Creating Fake Credit Cards
The next part of the con takes a little more artistry. The dark web gang member will use blank credit cards and remove the numbers from regular credit cards and steal new numbers onto the renovated cards.
Using these fake cards which list your stolen credit card information they will purchase as many items as they can. Potentially thousands of dollars of stolen credit card purchases and goods! Not only is the victim of this crime devastated, but their credit score and identity can be ruined and their life financially tarnished.
Other Ways Criminals on the Dark Web Steal Your Information
Another way gangs on the web steal your information is through phishing. While using a tor browser, inexperienced dark web users might end up on phishing sites that then take their information.
If you use the dark web, know that most of what you come across could put you at risk. This means that entering your personal credit information anywhere on the dark web will more than likely result in it is being stolen or incorrectly used.
Hackers love the dark web as much as credit card gangs. They target everyone from the ‘surface’ internet users to those on the dark web and steal credit information. Law enforcement tries to combat the hackers who steal credit details by hacking the hackers! They do this by using web links to reroute criminals and hackers outside the Tor network and thus expose their identity!
There are several types of credit card thieves – some will buy the stolen credit cards/info and use it for purchases. Others will only sell the stolen credit card numbers for bitcoin. There are also credit card fraud gangs who do both.
Should You Still Use the Dark Web with All These Risks?
Yes, with caution. Primarily, those who use the dark web do so to access something they can’t find elsewhere unless they risk being caught. Other times, people hear about the dark web and want to use it out of curiosity.
Perhaps they’ve been stolen from and wonder if gangs on the dark web played a part in the theft and tried and do their research. While it is legal to use the dark web, if your behavior or actions while using it are illegal, you can still be charged with a crime.
The ICE has a Cyber Crimes Center which submerges itself into the dark web to try and combat crimes, like those done by gangs on the dark web. According to the ICE website and Cyber Crimes Center Deputy Assistant Director, Patrick Lechleitner, “The Darknet is not a very sophisticated or special place; it just requires specific permission or access to get into it.”