Payment apps make it easy to pay off friends, pay a restaurant bill, or order something online. There is also a health benefit, as you don’t have to handle credit cards, ATMs, or cash.
While convenient, payment apps come with risks. There are good and bad ways to use them safely. Tap or click here for our tips on how to lock these apps.
The Dark Web counts personal and financial information among its wares for sale, joining guns, drugs, counterfeit money, child pornography, fake documents and more. Now PayPal accounts are also offered on the illicit market.
Here is the backstory
The Dark Web has long been a haven for stolen credit card information. But a study by cybersecurity firm Comparitech shows that credit card prices have fallen 27% this year, while PayPal account prices increased by 194%.
The average price for a physical cloned credit card is $ 171, or $ 0.0575 per dollar of credit limits. The study showed that the average price of a hacked PayPal account or balance transfer in all markets is $ 197, or 9.2 cents per dollar on the account balance (which carried an average balance of $ 2,133.61).
The price per dollar for PayPal accounts is almost double the price / credit limit ratio on physical credit cards. The price of PayPal changes depending on the type of account. Individual accounts were at the lower end of the scale, going all the way to Premier accounts and complementing Business accounts.
PayPal accounts are popular on the Dark Web for several reasons:
- Buyers can access the account from any location where they have an internet connection.
- PayPal accounts usually have an existing balance.
- PayPal is popular because it makes sending money easier. It also works for crooks.
- PayPal is accepted by countless merchants, services, and retailers.
So how do crooks steal PayPal accounts? They typically use phishing attacks to steal usernames and passwords from PayPal accounts. That’s why you really need to be careful with unsolicited text messages and emails.
Once they steal your credentials, scammers can sell them to a buyer who just needs to log in and do whatever they want with the account. The seller can also transfer money directly to the buyer’s account.
If a stolen PayPal account is connected to a bank or credit card, a rogue seller can transfer money from these sources. They can even use the account’s contact list to request money or make a purchase.
How to protect your PayPal and other accounts
Between data breaches, malware, and other forms of cyberattacks, your online accounts cannot be 100% safe all the time. But there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. Here’s how:
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