Yes there is still a black market and a credit card number is the biggest commodity. Surprisingly the going rate is about 6 cents per credit card number rising up to $1000 for PIN numbers that provide access to bank accounts. 

The practice of trawling through the internet for identities goes by the name of phishing. This can occur either by hiding software in internet web pages to steal information saved in computers or enterprising but crooked web designers may create dummy pages that look legitimate so as to engage computer users to provide crucial information directly and ultimately lose their hard earn dollars.

 A study by software company Symantec has revealed that such pages can be rented by crooks for a fee of $40 a week plus a commission of between 8% through 50% of the amounts stolen in this manner.

The majority of victims do not realise that they have been the victim of identity theft until they attempt to apply for credit or take out insurance.
  • Apart from taking the personal steps to protect you, a computer and valuable personal information, regularly change the PIN numbers for your bank and credit cards.
  • If any cards are lost or stolen report it immediately.
  • Check bank and credit card accounts frequently and watch for any suspicious transactions which might have been carried out by those who have cloned the card or phished out any personal accounts.
  • If shopping on-line only use known and secure websites. This can easily be indicated by ‘https’ in the browser address bar rather than just ‘http.‘
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