The buyer would contact the black market vendors using email or private IM. The payments are delivered through non-bank payment services such as e-gold, which make the criminals difficult to track. According to the team, during the period of seven months the total value of illegal materials on offer was more than $37 million, including 80,000 CC numbers.
The team revealed that one method of dealing with this might be undermining the seller’s reputation, because just like on Ebay, online criminals need to verify that they’re dealing with ‘honest’ criminals. The researcher team would involve as a seller and would not provide the service once the payment has been made, making buyers unable to distinguish the quality of the goods or services.
Such behaviour is know as ‘ripping’.