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Credit card fraud is rife on pirate sites

by Digital Citizens Alliance — 22 June 2023

The Digital Citizens Alliance, a US based coalition educating the public on internet threats, has released a report exposing the prevalence of credit card fraud on pirate subscription sites.

The DCA ran their own investigation, signing up to 20 pirate subscription services to see how quickly fraudulent charges would appear and within two weeks they started, racking up $1495 USD in illicit purchases for clothing and other items in just three months. Charges predominantly were made in Asia and Eastern Europe. 

In addition to the investigation the DCA also commissioned a research survey of 2300 Americans which found that:

72% of Americans who said they used a credit card to purchase a piracy subscription service also reported having an issue with credit card fraud over the last year. Only 18% of those who said they don’t visit pirate sites reported a similar issue.

Americans who visited piracy sites were four times (44% vs 10%) more likely to report being a victim of identity theft.

Americans were five times (46% vs 9%) more likely to report having an issue with malware in the last year.

In terms of solutions, the DCA outlined three key responses:

  • Alerting Americans to the online risks associated with piracy
  • Encouraging law enforcement to investigate piracy operators
  • They also suggest that payment processors should terminate relationships with known piracy operators.

Get the research here.


FURTHER READING: Piracy booms despite crackdown on illegal streaming, 2 June 2023, Yahoo! News