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Scammers Are Scamming Other Scammers Out of Millions of Dollars

Credit Card Scams

Scammers Are Scamming Other Scammers Out of Millions of Dollars

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Nobody is immune to being scammed online—not even the people running the scams. Cybercriminals using hacking forums to buy software exploits and stolen login details keep falling for cons and are getting ripped off thousands of dollars at a time, a new analysis has revealed. And what’s more, when the criminals complain that they are being scammed, they’re also leaving a trail of breadcrumbs of their own personal information that could reveal their real-world identities to police and investigators.

Hackers and cybercriminals often gather on specific forums and marketplaces to do business with each other. They can advertise upcoming work they need help with, sell databases of people’s stolen passwords and credit card information, or tout new security vulnerabilities that can be used to break into people’s devices or systems. However, these deals often don’t go to plan.

The new research, published today by cybersecurity firm Sophos, examines these failed transactions and the complaints people have made about them. “Scammers scamming scammers on criminal forums and marketplaces is much bigger than we originally thought it was,” says Matt Wixey, a researcher with Sophos X-Ops who studied the marketplaces.

Wixey examined three of the most prominent cybercrime forums: the Russian-language forums Exploit and XSS, plus the English-language BreachForums, which replaced RaidForums when it was seized by US law enforcement in April. While the sites operate in slightly…

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