November 24, 2008

Online CC fraud: a $5 billion industry

by Brian Turner

According to a report by Symantec, credit card thieves have such a high volume of credit card data that they theoretically have access to credit of $5 billion.

You can find the original PDF paper here, or an online HTML summary here.

The $5.3bn figure was reached by multiplying the average amount of fraud perpetrated on a stolen card, $350 (£234), by the many millions Symantec observed offered for sale after a year long study.

Which means that the actual credit available is actually much bigger than the $5 billion being reported.

Presuming a $5,000 line of credit available on each credit card takes the figure to a whopping $75 billion online fraudsters could potentially tap into.

Either way, what the Symantec study makes very clear – cyber fraud is definitely a huge, organised, and very lucrative industry.

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