Scammers can access Australians’ hacked credit card details for just $38 on the dark web, while unauthorised Facebook and Instagram access are on sale for just over $100, according to a new report.
Researchers looking into the nefarious parts of the internet to determine how personal information is being made available to scammers, have made the grim discovery that such information “doesn’t cost you a lot”.
The Australian Scam Culture Report by financial services firm BDO reveals 2.7 million people use the dark web each day — and scam-based activity, including accessing credit card, email and social media details, as well as corporate data, accounts for up to 23 per cent of trades over online black marketplaces.
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It found access to hacked Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Telegram accounts can be bought for $119.
Email access details cost $269.
“When personal information has been obtained through a hack, people don’t understand the value of it,” BDO’s national forensics leader Michael Cassidy told 7NEWS.com.au.
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“Or, in a lot of cases, it’s not very valuable. It’s cheap to buy and it’s easy for people with nefarious ideas to purchase it and use it.
“When you hear data’s been hacked, personal information’s been taken, no one really knows what the value of it is, other than the personal inconvenience of getting it replaced.
“If you want to get hold of it, you can. And doesn’t cost you a lot. It’s not a big investment.”
What’s more, researchers observed a 32 per cent increase in the number of hacked social media accounts being sold on the dark web from 2021 to 2023.
Dark web marketplace
People can access a contact list of “professional hackers” for just $18. There are also approximately 10,000 hacked ChatGPT accounts for sale, the report says.
Fraudsters can also get a fake passport for $2255 and a driver’s licence for $526.
According to the report, researchers have determined that text message has become the most common way for scammers to target Australians since 2022, overtaking emails.
The inaugural report looked at data from April 1 to June 30 and researchers intend to release new versions of the report regularly to analyse trends over time.
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