Once compromising a victim’s bank account, criminals can make large withdrawals, orchestrate money laundering schemes, or sell the compromised account credentials to other parties.
A recent report suggests the volume of bank account takeover incidents has jumped in the U.S. by 282% between 2019 and 2021. VIDOCQ’s research into compromised bank accounts in Canada found that it is not exception to this troubling trend.
VIDOCQ’s investigation was overseen by Dr. David Maimon, an associate professor and criminologist at Georgia State University (GSU), who heads the evidence-based research group at GSA and is specialized in searching the darknet and other platforms for evidence of breached bank accounts.
Some of the findings from our two-month case study reveal that 969 checking accounts, 540 saving accounts and 140 credits accounts owned by Canadian banks customers were offered for sale over online underground markets between March 15 and May 15, 2021. Moreover, the average balance in a compromised Canadian checking account for purchase over online underground markets between the two months of data collection was $9,842 (all sums in Canadian dollars), $13,937 in compromised Canadian saving accounts and $15,970 in compromised credit lines.
We also observed an increase of 310% in the number of compromised Canadian checking bank accounts which were offered for sale on underground markets between March 15 and May 15 of 2021. A similar increase was observed for the number of compromised Canadian saving accounts over the same period (a 305% increase), yet a higher increase was recorded for the number of compromised Canadian credit accounts (466% increase).
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