Could The Dark Web Become a Fake ID Factory?

A Channel 4 documentary broadcast yesterday showed how easy it is to commission a professional `hit’ on someone, using the Dark Web as a portal to arranging serious crimes. Whether you believe that sort of contract is an everyday event is debatable. But there is evidence that criminals see the Dark Web as a shop window for fake ID services, which offers a potential claims headache for insurers.

Here’s some news from the USA on fake IDs on the Dark Web;

An eye-opening 2022 study from cybersecurity experts Privacy Affairs has detailed the astonishingly low price tags for personal information, including credit cards and bank accounts, on the Dark Web. Their research concluded criminals using the dark web need only spend $1,115 for a complete set of a person’s account details, enabling them to create fake IDs and forge private documents, such as passports and driver’s licenses.

However, the cybersecurity and data privacy specialists revealed access to other information is becoming even cheaper. Their Dark Web Price Index 2022 – based on data scanning dark web marketplaces, forums, and websites, revealed:

  • Credit card details and associated information. Cost between $17$120;
  • Online banking login information costs $45;
  • Hacked Facebook account: $45;
  • Cloned VISA with PIN: $20;
  • Stolen PayPal account details, minimum $1000 balances: $20.


In a lesson to insurers, Thomson Reuters recently published a piece which highlighted how those Dark Web ID docs can open the door to a series of fake unemployment claims. Jon Ross from Risk and Fraud Solutions wrote;

“Prior to the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that numbers of UI claims were low, receiving 282,000 claims on 14 March 2020. Less than three weeks later, initial claims rose to 10 times pre-pandemic levels, much greater than state systems were designed to handle. Then, within five months by, 15 August 2020, the Department reported a staggering 57.4 million initial claims, the biggest increase since the Department began recording UI data in 1967.

With these levels of claims, the pandemic created a perfect storm for fraud. Not only was there a high value target, but states, often overwhelmed with claims, navigating new rules, and using outdated systems, have struggled to keep up. Meanwhile criminals became more organized and adopted new sophisticated methods of fraud. Among the key tools available to fraudsters is the dark web, which has become a haven for UI fraud and the go-to place to acquire step-by-step guides on how to steal from state employment programs.”


As governments attempt to force through compulsory biometric ID on the back of the Covid pandemic, some people will always look to create a fake ID to get around all sorts of checks on activity. The Dark Web could become a low cost marketplace, almost a fake Metaverse, where people have a second ID for various reasons.

Insurance brands need to verify online customer ID in new ways, as the switch to digital only insurance inception, admin changes and claims becomes the norm. A way of cross referencing fake, or modified ID being used repeatedly in quote engines and comparison sites could also prove useful in the long run.


About alastair walker 9631 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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