The Proliferation of Carded Purchases in the Spanish-Language Underground
Purchases made with compromised payment card information, known as compras among Spanish-speaking cybercriminals, are a frequent subject of chatter in Spanish-language Deep & Dark Web (DDW) communities. Since late 2015, fraudulent activity related to stolen card information has become increasingly pervasive across the Spanish-language underground, primarily originating from Latin America.
Compras vendors can obtain compromised card information from a variety of sources, such as phishing scams or Spanish-language DDW card shops. Flashpoint analysts believe these vendors are likely utilizing card information stolen from individuals residing in the U.S. and throughout Latin America. Compras are most often fraudulently obtained from online retailers and e-commerce sites.
When offering their services to clients, vendors specify which retailers or e-commerce sites they are able to offer compras from. When placing an illicit order, clients specify which items from those stores they would like the vendor to purchase on their behalf. Since the vendors make these purchases using stolen card data, they are able to offer items to clients at heavily discounted prices, accepting a variety of payment methods. Depending on the the type of card used and the other specific factors, financial liability for compras can fall upon either the bank or the merchant.
Latin American threat actors are often overlooked as a threat to U.S.-based businesses. While they lack the technical sophistication of threats originating from Russia, China, and other nations with robust cyber capabilities, Latin American threat-actor groups tend to be highly resourceful when it comes to exploiting vulnerabilities for financial gain.
To learn more about compras, tune in to my latest Flash Talk on the proliferation of carded purchases in the Spanish-language underground. In this Flash Talk, I further explain the definition of compras, describe the process through which these schemes are carried out, and discuss vendor specifications such as advertising, pricing, payment methods, communication, and shipping practices.
Click here to watch “Flash Talk: The Proliferation of Carded Purchases in the Spanish-Language Underground”
Flash Talks are 10-15 minute video segments led by Flashpoint’s team of subject matter experts, where we discuss emerging and trending topics in today’s cyber threat landscape. For a complete archive of Flashpoint Flash Talks, please visit our content library.
Flashpoint Analyst Team
The Flashpoint analyst team is composed of subject-matter experts with tradecraft skills honed through years of operating in the most austere online environments, training in elite government and corporate environments, and building and leading intelligence programs across all sectors. Our team covers more than 20 languages including Arabic, Mandarin, Farsi, Turkish, Kazakh, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, and Portuguese.