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What thieves prowling the dark web want to buy

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Stolen credit card information may not be as valuable as it once was, at least compared to other kinds of data floating around in black markets. Here’s why.

Technology giveth: better credit card safeguardsAs security tools at financial institutions have become more sophisticated, the incentive for thieves to steal credit cards has lowered. Most major credit card companies have become expert at identifying patterns of strange usage. Their systems delay suspicious charges until confirmed by the account holder, and they can shut down accounts quicker than ever. Simply put, stolen credit cards may not be very valuable any more.Technology taketh away: online account takeover fraud

Know what many thieves appear to value these days? Online accounts. Once they’re in, thieves could help themselves to a potential treasure trove of information they could use to their advantage in different ways.
For example, ridesharing account information may yield:

  • Personal account information, like date of birth or passwords, to piece
    together a better profile for future heists
  • Payment information, like credit and debit cards, to exploit quickly
  • The opportunity to hail rides using the stolen account itself!

How you can adapt


You can’t control black markets, and it’s hard to know what future thieves will value. But you can make sure your passwords are strong, specific and spread out by:

  • Using numbers, letters, varied capitalization and special characters
  • Not basing them on recognizable aspects of your life (e.g., birthday,    
     birthplace or hometown)
  • Using different passwords for different accounts
How to help protect yourself in the event an account is taken over? One powerful safeguard is TransUnion’s Credit Lock. With a single swipe or click, your TransUnion® credit report becomes off-limits to everyone. Why is that important? Because once your report is locked, a thief can’t use it to get credit in your name. Could this be a game-changing technology? Absolutely.

 

 

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