Security firm Symantec has spotted a new trend in the Internet-based credit card fraud world: fraudsters are donating money to charity.
But obviously they don't do this because they want to play Robin Hood. It's done to check if the stolen credit cards can actually be used:
t is sometimes difficult for them to verify this without raising any alarm bells and risking that their cards will be identified as stolen and disabled. As a consequence, a new trend is appearing.
Carders attempting to verify that a stolen credit card is legitimate and active have begun donating money to charity. By attempting to pay small amounts of money to various charities, including well known charities such as the Red Cross, carders can determine if a stolen credit card is valid depending on the success or failure of the transaction.
There are likely a number of reasons that this method may be becoming more popular. For instance, bank behavior monitors may be less likely to pick up on donations to charities. Legitimate charitable donations are not daily transactions for anyone with a credit card, and so it would be difficult to determine if they are out of the norm. As such, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see this trend grow. I guess the one thing to note here though is that at least some of the stolen money is going to a good cause.