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RSA, The Security Division of EMC Monthly Online Fraud Report's April issue highlights a possibility - Fraudsters' migration to WebMoney.

  • 11 May, 2007 11:03

<p>While monitoring the fraudsters' communication channels, RSA has learned that most fraudsters prefer to pay and get paid using an e-currency called e-gold (www.e-gold.com). A phrase such as "I accept e-gold" is very common in fraudster negotiations and in posts in their web forums. RSA estimate that significant portions of e-currency business transactions between fraudsters are e-gold transactions.</p>
<p>U.S, Law Enforcement agencies have been long accusing e-gold of involvement in financing of illegal activity such as fraud and child pornography, laundering money and operation an illegal one transmission system. Recently, e-gold’s founder Douglas Jackson and two of his colleagues were indicted with such allegations.</p>
<p>E-gold’s founders claim that they are not involved in any of those alleged activities, and that they have been trying to fight any fraudulent or criminal use of their platform. And indeed, in the beginning of November 2006 e-gold started a mass blocking of dozens of accounts related to fraudsters and fraudulent activities. Later on, there were several more reported “waves” of e-gold accounts blocking. While these blocks have been a blow to the fraudsters’ operations, it did not seem to have a long-term effect on the volume of fraud and on the fraudster’s activities. However, fraudsters realized that e-gold is no longer a reliable business platform, and were considering alternative payment methods to maintain their business. Some fraudsters still rely on e-gold as a payment method, but recently there seems to be a development in this area.</p>
<p>After the e-gold account-blocking affair in November, the most prominent discussion among fraudsters revolved around the use other e-currencies that would replace e-gold. A widely discussed e-currency service is called WebMoney, or “WMZ” (www.wmtransfer.com). Several fraudsters recommended using WebMoney instead of e-gold, to avoid account blocking and surveillance. However other fraudsters claimed that WebMoney employs similar security measures to e-gold, and that they also block fraudulent accounts.</p>
<p>Recently we noticed that the amount of discussions regarding the use of WebMoney is on the rise. Issues such as registering accounts, funding and cashing out WebMoney accounts are discussed much more than before. More fraudsters are starting to accept WebMoney as well as e-gold, and some of them have even switched to WebMoney completely, and do not accept e-gold payments anymore.</p>
<p>About WebMoney</p>
<p>WebMoney is a Russia based e-currency service. With similarity to e-gold and other e-currency services, it provides a fast and anonymous payment system, which fits the need of the fraudster underground. A WebMoney account can be funded in several ways, including a wire transfer, using prepaid cards, and postal money orders.</p>
<p>Unlike e-gold, WebMoney are not entirely website-based. Using WebMoney requires an application to be installed on one’s computer. However, several videos we found int eh fraudster underground show how to use the application while still remaining anonymous.</p>
<p><b>For more on e-gold and a breakdown of Global Banking Brands attacked by Phishing, or to speak with Geoff Noble, Banking and Finance Specialist RSA, The Security Division of EMC, please contact Sarah on 02 9212 3848 or sarah@kinetics.com.au</b></p>

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