Your data is becoming less valuable, but not in a good way

Privacy Affairs’ latest Dark Web Price Index has revealed that the prices scammers pay for stolen dark web data are in decline.

Privacy Affairs’ report found that the volume of data and number of items sold on the dark web from February 2021 to June 2022 was up compared to the previous period. In addition, more than 9,000 dark web vendors disclosed they were processing thousands of transactions a year, selling everything from identification documents to stolen credit card details.

The dark web’s “menu” of stolen data has also grown, with hacked cryptocurrency accounts and even compromised Uber details widely available.

So what does data cost?

According to the report, credit card details are available for as little as $15. However, this can increase – sometimes significantly – depending on the specific details available.

For example:

  • UK credit card details with the CVV number sell for an average of $20
  • Australian credit cards sell for up to $30
  • Where the credit limit and balance are known, a card with up to $5,000 available sell for an average of $120

In contrast:

  • Bank accounts with balances of up to $2,000 sell for an average of $65
  • Verified Cash App accounts fetch an average of $800
  • PayPal account details sell for $10 to $20, depending on the balance.

The balance on hand is also primarily the determining factor in the price of cryptocurrency wallet credentials, which sell for $90 – $400 depending on their value.

Credentials for popular online services and social media accounts are also widely available. On average:

  • Gmail accounts fetch $65
  • Facebook accounts sell for $45
  • Instagram credentials fetch $40
  • Twitter accounts bring in $25

Finally, both digital and physical documents are becoming increasingly popular online. Scans of utility bills, driving licenses, and passports sell on the dark web for up to $150. For scammers looking to acquire physical documentation, the price is usually higher, with Maltese passports selling for $6,500 and European Union passports overall costing an average of $3,800. However, there are still “bargains” for scammers to find; for example, US identify cards sell for around $150.

Prices down as data becomes readily available

Unfortunately, data isn’t getting cheaper because cybercriminals aren’t interested in it anymore, but because there is so much of it. Lower pricing also means the “barriers to entry” are lower for any scammers who might want to buy data to commit various frauds.

This trend will likely continue as the dark web “economy” grows, and the volume of stolen data available becomes even more comprehensive.

For example, in comparison to the previous period, Privacy Affairs’ research highlighted that the cost of a credit card with a $5,000 balance is half what it was previously. Likewise, PayPal accounts with a $1,000 balance were selling for $120 a couple of years ago as opposed to the $20 they go for today.

While your data is worth less, the risks have never been higher

In monetary terms, through the eyes of scammers, your data is falling in value. However, all that means is that they need to spend less to build their database of potential fraud targets, meaning that the risks have never been higher for you.

Ensure you know how to spot the tell-tale signs your data has been involved in a breach, and how to tell if you’re looking at a data breach or fraud.


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