The world’s largest marketplace for stolen credit cards on the dark web will shut down next week.
UniCC, the biggest market on the internet for stolen credit and debit cards, has announced that it is shutting down. According to UniCC’s owners, the darknet site will go offline from January 22.
In the nine years since launching, the illegal marketplace made an estimated $358m in purchases, according to Elliptic.
UniCC lists tens of thousands of new credit and debit cards on the market every day, generated from identification theft. It uses several different vendors to facilitate sales in the face of intense competition from similar darknet sites. The marketplace receives payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
UniCC’s anonymous owners posted a broadcast on the darknet forums announcing their retirement. “We are not young and our health do not allow to work like this any longer,” the cybercriminals wrote.
A Booming Billion Dollar Industry
Payment card fraud leads to the loss of billions of dollars each year. As a result, the market for stolen cards is flourishing. Hackers steal payment card information and sell them on these sites to other cybercriminals.
The card details are stolen from banks and other financial institutions, online retailers, payment companies, and individuals. Sellers who purchase such ones use them to purchase expensive items and gift cards that they resell for profit.
UniCC’s announcement follows the trend of similar marketplaces shutting down to evade increased scrutiny by law enforcement.