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It’s cheaper than ever to buy someone’s stolen identity off the internet

Updated 4 years ago
Published Apr 7th, 2016 4:12PM EDT

Business is apparently booming for hackers who deal with a certain type of digital product: identity theft. Buying someone’s identity off the internet is now cheaper than ever, a new report shows, suggesting that there’s both a strong demand for such products as well as strong supply.

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Dell SecureWorks revealed that the cost of buying someone’s digital identity is cheaper than ever, though other goods are more expensive. In the latter category, you’ll find actual passports, frequent flier miles, bank account credentials, social media accounts and other types of private information.

A physical counterfeit U.S. passport can cost as much as $10,000, with the lowest price being set at around $3,000. Meanwhile, an electronic passport scan costs just $25. Stolen credit cards are even cheaper at $15 a pop, according to Quartz.

“Fullz” packages that include full financial information (name, address, credit card information, social security number, date of birth) cost $15 while stealing personally identifiable information costs just $20. These are significant drops in prices compared to 2013 and 2014, as can be seen in the following table.

These digital goods sell online on the Dark Web, which is an area of the internet most people will likely never visit. Surprisingly, purchases often come with impressive customer service including round-the-clock support. If you’d like to learn how to pull off data heists yourself, that’s also available for purchase, as you’ll find various types of products and tutorials that can help you out.

The report goes on to reveal that ATM skimmers that capture the magnetic stripe data on the back of debit and credit cards cost $1,775 online – and they’re a big hit.


Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.