McAfee Labs

How Much Does My Identity Cost?

By on Aug 23, 2010

Phishing and identity theft involve not only the theft of funds. In addition to financial data, information collected by cybercriminals also can allow them to create and sell false legal documents.

On top of selling malware, renting botnets, or launching denial-of-service attacks, supplying falsified documents is another well-paid online activity. I visited such a business just yesterday.

One popular document for criminals is a passport. The following website offers a large choice classified by countries. The lowest price (US$870) is for Azerbaijan. A French passport cost US$5,530. A customer must send the forgers personal information as well as a signature and a photo, and they take care of the rest.

The site also offers a large collection of credit cards (sold 10 at a time) with balances ranging from US$2,000 to US$15,000. Some Platinum cards are guaranteed up to US$50,000.

After money and passport, a criminal might next need a driver’s license. No problem, they can find those here:

To attract customers, the document providers offer specifics for some countries and states. These examples describe Russia and Michigan in the United States:

To make these documents criminals need not only the financial data they can obtain via the usual phishing strategies; they also need more personal data. To get it, they target online and offline locations where this information is available. To protect yourself, you need to remain aware of what you give away on your social networking platform as well as what you toss into your household trash.