The Dark Web is the haven for illegal activities and carding is no different. Massive data breaches have resulted in the spike of dark web carding (especially credit card fraud) and related activities causing loss to both individuals and organizations of varied sizes. The dark web skimmers are employing new techniques to hack the credit card information and utilize it for malicious intentions.
Digitalization has taken over the world and so are the transactions. Thus, the transactions have gone from the traditional in hand payments to cashless. With cashless forms of payments, the use of various cards like credit cards, debit cards and gift cards have become most popular. The recent two additions are digital wallets and UPI.
In this article, we have completely dedicated ourselves to provide you with all the details of dark web carding and related terminologies. We have also tried to answer all the frequently asked questions on deep web carding.
Before we start, we would like to put out a disclaimer that this article is just an informational piece to raise awareness.
What Is Dark Web Carding?
Carding can be termed as the trafficking of credit cards, bank accounts or even other services that involve personal information. Carding also facilitates the procurement of details along with the money laundering tactics. The modern carding websites have been described as potential full-service commercial entities.
The term ‘dark web carding’ has been widely used as the cybercriminals gather credit card details that have a longer expiration date or debit cards that have a good amount of cash balance. These card details are widely put up for sale on the various dark web websites and hacking forums on the darknet. The price of each card details are based on certain factors such as type of the card, its validity, how much balance is present.
What Is Carding Fraud?
Carding fraud is described as the practice that the fraudsters and scammers employ for determining if the stolen card numbers are yet active or have been reported as stolen or lost. They first test the acquired cards by visiting the e-commerce websites or donation websites to make multiple payments or transactions. This method is widely used to test one or more numbers of cards that have been once stolen.
There are variations in the types of dark web carding methods that are mentioned below:
- One card is being continuously used in quick succession for identical or low dollar amounts.
- Multiple cards are being continuously used in quick succession for identical or low dollar amounts.
- Multiple cards having the same information, say billing address and/or name) from the exact same IP address.
- Multiple cards having the different information, say billing address and/or name) from the exact same IP address.
- Several cards bearing different billing addresses but same Bank Identification Number (BIN).
Basics Of Dark Web Carding Methods
The carding method implements several procedures that makes carding an achievable task. What does a carder require to help him achieve carding? Below are the details presented as the dark web carding guide:
Computer / PC
The carders feel safe using a computer as it is far more safe than when using a mobile device. In this context, it can be said that mobile devices can be used in carding. But using a mobile device is less secure and attracts more risks.
The term “SOCKS” stands for SOCKet Secure. SOCKS is an internet protocol that permits the client and the server traffic to pass via a proxy server. This way, the original IP gets hidden and the proxy IP gets displayed, in case anyone searches for it. This component is very useful when carrying out carding. This is because the carder wishes to use the location of the credit card holder while carrying out the procedure. SOCKS are even sold for the users.
Mac Address Changer
MAC is the abbreviation for Media Access Control and is defined as the unique address for each Network Interface Card or NIC. A MAC address changer permits one to instantly change the MAC address of the NIC. Additionally, the user needs to be safe and anonymous at the same time.
The CCleaner is quite a useful tool in cleaning your cookies, browser history, temp files and more. Usually most of the people underestimate its potential and avoid using it and that is the reason why they get caught. So, it is necessary that you be careful and make sure to use it.
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
RDP permits one computer to connect to another computer located within the same network. This protocol has been developed by Microsoft.
Usually, the carders use RDP protocol for connecting to the computers of the victim’s geolocation. The victim is the person whose credit card is aimed at being used by the carder. However, the carders use other’s computers and not their own while doing carding.
DROP is referred to an address that the carders use as the shipping address while they are in the carding procedure.
Take for example, the dark web carder is carding with the US credit cards, then he uses an address from the USA as the shipping order. This makes sure that the carder receives the order and he will be safe. If you have someone known who can collect your order on your behalf, then there will be no problem. Else, you have to take help from any drop website that enables the drop facility. However, you would have to pay some amount to get your order delivered.
This is the most crucial part of all. All the credit card comes in the following format:
| credit card Number | Exp Date | CVV2 code | Name on the Card | Address | City | State | Country | Zip code | Phone # (sometimes not included depending on where you get your credit card from) |
4035876936436135 | 08 | 2021 | 583 | UNITED STATES | Peter Stanley | 250 | Awesome Street | Easternton | MA | 09147
Note: The details are random and fictional.
Credit Cards & Its Types
All the credit card companies have cards that begin with a unique digit to identify the individual credit card types. For example –
- American Express (AMEX CARD) – 3
- Discover (Disco) – 6
- Mastercard – 5
- Visa Card – 4
Here are the details of each stated credit cards:
- Gold – Usually, it has around 10K limit.
- Platinum – It usually has a higher limit of around 35K.
- Centurion – It has a very high limit of 75K+. The centurion card is also known as black card and must not be confused with visa black card.
- Standard – Same as the classic visa card.
- Gold – Same as the visa gold card.
- Platinum – Same as the platinum visa card.
- World – It bears a very high limit.
- World Elite – Virtually, it has no limit and is a high-end card.
- Classic – The Classic card is used worldwide in all the locations designated by the Visa company. It includes real and virtual stores, ATMs and all the shops that offer goods and services by telephone and mail.
- Gold – The gold card has a relatively higher limit capacity. It is the most widely used card worldwide.
- Platinum – This card bears a limit of over $10,000.
- Signature – There is no preset
How Do The Cybercriminals Acquire Credit Card Information?
The criminals adopt various ways to steal the credit card information of the victims. This information is then used for the carding purposes. Below are some of the many methods:
A carding forum can be termed as an illegal forum or website where the criminals buy and sell stolen credit card numbers. In these platforms, they also share techniques of stealing the financial details and in some cases may be able to test the stolen credit card information. Usually, the carding forums are available on the hidden network or on the dark web.
Credit Card Skimming
A credit card skimmer is said to be a small yet hard-to-spot device that the cybercriminals install on top of a legit credit card reader of any place, say a gas station or at the restaurants. Once the victim slides his or her credit card or debit card to conduct payment, the card skimmer installed in the machine reads and stores the card information. This information is then utilized for carding.
Malware is the abbreviated term for “Malicious Software”. It is a program that aids the cyber thieves to gain access to the victims’ device or account. This occurs without the knowledge of the victims. As soon as the malware gets installed, it runs in the background and performs several functions like – recording the keystrokes, monitoring the programs victim uses and even collecting personal information from credit card numbers to account passwords.
Phishing generally takes place when the scammer attempts to trick the victims into sharing their personal details like the Social Security Number (SSN) or the credit/debit card account password. The cyber criminals can use just any medium to conduct a successful phishing attack – phone calls, emails, text messages, postal mail and even the social media direct messages.
In this context, the fraudster usually pretends to represent a legitimate source, say, your bank. After this, they claim that there is something wrong with your bank account. As you provide your personal information to get the problem resolved, the scammer uses your provided information for the carding purposes. Sometimes the carded information is put up for sale on the dark web and it is also a part of the dark web carding process.
How Is Carding Done Using Mobiles?
This segment is going to be a bit interesting as we talk about how to perform carding using mobile phones. Now, mobile phones such as the ones with Android OS are very handy these days and they have somewhat replaced to some extent the computers and laptops. Also, the pro carders use a mobile for carding. The following are the steps how they do carding using an Android device.
- The carders require a rooted Android mobile.
- They install a few essential apps or applications for carding methods such as CCleaner, proxy apps, IMEI Changer, Android ID and Photo Changer.
- They take help from the VPN services. The most preferred ones are PureVPN and NordVPN. However, Zen Mate or HMA are also used.
- For the step of SOCKS, they use SOCKS% proxy app with the proxy droid apps.
- They use the Android ID changer and involve changing of the IMEI number as well.
- Next, they connect the proxy droid app with the SOCKS5 proxy.
- The other steps are the same as the ones done with a computer as stated earlier in this article.
How Do E-commerce Websites Detect & Prevent Dark Web Carding?
Most of the carding commencement happens with the retails where in some cases the retailers are even unaware of a compromised payment device. There are various ways to detect and prevent frauds at the e-commerce level. However, the best approach is to implement the multi-part payment review. In this case, each of the layers places an obstacle in the foreground of any potential carding activity. Thus, it protects the online stores from being targeted. The best part is that the layers of this system unifiedly work together for detecting and preventing carding by data comparison and simultaneously hindering the fraudsters’ activities.
Below are the best practices to detect and prevent dark web carding:
Utilization Of A CAPTCHA Code
The primary task of the CAPTCHA is to restrict the payment attempts from being sent by any automated script. CAPTCHA only works as human input is essential in solving them. When you force the potential carders to carry out their carding manually, you are actually making your online store a less appealing target for the carders.
On the contrary, it needs to be kept in mind that adding a captcha validation to the checkout process might negatively impact your business in terms of conversion rate. This is due to the fact that this step adds an extra friction to the payment flow. However, simultaneously despite this fact, the online stores are implementing this method to keep themselves and their customers safe.
Utilization Of Address Verification System or AVS
The Address Verification System, commonly termed as AVS, compares the billing addresses provided at the checkout to the address on the credit card against the holder. The results for this comparison are immediately sent to the retailer. Some of the common AVS responses are:
- A (only the address matches)
- N (no match at all)
- Y (a full match)
- Z (ZIP code match only)
If the AVS is set up properly, the payment gateway can restrict the transactions bearing a response of N in case the card has been reported stolen or lost. For the other variations, you would also require the fraud filters for validating this data and decide whether to accept or reject the transactions.
AVS is currently active in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The cards issued from countries devoid of AVS support may return these responses:
- G (global card)
- S (AVS unavailable)
- U (AVS unsupported)
As AVS is not present in all of the countries in the world, you need to back them up with the different forms of fraud detection.
Perform The IP Geolocation Checks
An IP address helps locate the user’s computer location. An IP geolocation checks and compares the IP addresses of the users against the billing address that they enter in the checkout page. If the locations do not seem to match, it is eminent that the user is not shopping from the same address as that of the credit card owner. This i=could possibly be an indicator to fraudulence.
However, a failed geolocation check does not always indicate that a transaction is fraudulent. You need to confirm whether the user is using any proxy IP address. The proxy IP address masks the actual IP address and returns a false location. In this context it can be said that it is true that some of the fraudsters do use proxies to clean their tracks. But, usage of proxies is also common amongst other people who prefer privacy over anything else.
Another common reason for failed IP geolocation tracks is that the user might have placed the order while he or she is travelling. This can even cause the IP address to differ from that of the billing information. But assuming this to be the case can hamper your business. An IP geolocation mismatch needs attention and requires a closer look and you might end up discovering other red flags while investigating.
Compare The Bank Identification Numbers of The Used Cards
The BIN offers information regarding the variety of the credit card alongside the name and location of the issuing bank. This appears as the first six numeric or digits of the debit or credit card number. BIN aids in identifying the type of card used like AMEX, MasterCard, Visa or Discover and the bank that had issued the card. It makes it possible to identify the cards that all come from a similar source.
This could be beneficial in identifying the carding attempts. Usually, you could only infrequently see the card numbers bearing the same BIN, sometimes maybe two in a month. If you receive several transactions in a single day or two involving the same BIN out of nowhere, this could possibly be a sign that your online store has been targeted for carding attempts. It could probably mean that the carding attempts will be carried on using a large number of the cards purchased online from the dark web markets. The stolen credit cards might be from a prominent data breach as well. BIN tracking helps spotting such kinds of activity.
Check For Velocities
Velocity in carding is a term given to the number or the speed of the transactions that have been attempted within a specific period. For example, several transactions from the same visitor conducted back to back within several minutes or seconds. It is quite unusual for a user to conduct multiple transactions in quick succession. This is especially when the transactions are conducted at a speed impossible for humans.
Thus, it is quintessential to monitor the velocity and it can be done in several ways such as monitoring the user IP address, BIN, billing address, dollar amount or device. In each of the cases, the number and the speed of the transactions if identical in a certain way is checked. The velocity checks by the dollar amount will spot a quick series of transactions for the exact same payable amount, which is a frequent sign of carding.
Authorization and Capture is a method of receiving the credit card payments where the card is first authorized to conduct a purchase while the funds remain to be captured later. This is often implemented in a situation like authorizing a customer’s card for transaction up to a specific amount, while the exact amount of the charge remains undetermined. As soon as the vendor reaches the specific payment amount, the funds are captured from the customer’s card till the authorization amount.
The utilization of the Authorization/Capture method on your online store offers you some time to review the transactions in the authorization period. If you sense that you are being targeted via carding, you must not proceed to capture the funds. In case you sense a probability of carding after the captured amount, it is highly recommended that you quickly issue a refund rather than waiting for a chargeback from the customer.
3D-Secure, the abbreviated term for 3 Domain Secure, is an implementation technology that shifts the fraud prevention away from the merchant and to the provider of the payment. The customer’s transactions and identity are verified via a system that utilizes a large trove of information for determining whether a payment is valid or fraudulent. While doing so, the customers’ checkout experience is kept as smooth as possible.
The best part is that 3D-Secure functions in the background transferring the data between the customers’ credit card provider and the online merchant. The transferred data covers a diverse aspect of the customers’ shopping history that aids in verifying their identity such as what device they are using, the pattern of their expenditure and much more. The rule of thumb is the more data gets transferred, the more secure the identification is. This results in decreased frauds as well as lesser false-positives. This solution is presented specifically for the used card and it could be presented as American Express SafeKey, MasterCard SecureCode, Verified by Visa or Discover ProtectBuy.
Card Verification Value Or CVV Utilization
This method ensures that the card holder is required to enter their credit/debit card’s CVV at the checkout. This is generally a three digit code located at the back of the card. This CVV number is supposed to prove that the online shopper possesses the physical card rather than possessing a card number acquired from the dark web.
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) Utilization
This process adds multiple steps to the login process beyond the method of entering username and password. For example, the merchant might send you an OTP (One Time Password), which is basically some 4-8 digit code via a text message or a call. This OTP is used before you submit your card details for a transaction.
In this case, the carders will need to steal your credit or debit card number as well as your phone to access your account. This is something unlikely.
This is all about dark web carding and its various aspects. Carding is a major issue and affects both the retailers and the retail businesses alongside harming the victims. It is amazing to see how the carders carry out their processes even sometimes without the knowledge of any one. The result is pretty destructive and often the carded details are found on the dark web carding forums where people join to discuss the topics, share their knowledge and even buy them. Dark web carding markets have gained much popularity with time and there are a lot of them in the Tor Network. You can also get the dark web carding forum links openly shared on the internet. Alongside this, carding is evolving with each passing day and causing a lot of adverse effects on the economy as well.
Disclaimer: Read the complete disclaimer here.