What will a fraudster pay for your Avios log-in details on the dark web?
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The other day I came across the Dark Web Market Price Index. This is a monthly updated list showing what people are paying on the ‘dark web’ (Dream, Point and Wall Street Market, all of which require the Tor browser) for your log-in details to various websites.
The list of prices is huge. At the top end, Paypal log-in details sell for an average of £280 – that number is driven by a % of the credit balance held in the accounts put up for sale.
At the bottom end, your ASOS log-in details are worth £1.50. Data like this is primarily useful for helping with ID fraud as part of a broader scam and would not necessarily be used to make fraudulent ASOS purchases.
In the travel category, Avios / BA accounts are the clear winner at £6.73 per set of account details.
They would be worth more, but there is clearly a big risk in using a hacked Avios account to book a flight for a future date. Much of the fraud I hear about is via Avios hotel redemptions. A fraudster can book and check-in (and hopefully check-out) before you even noticed your points were gone. I imagine that fraudulent redemption of wine or other goods, sent to ‘safe’ addresses, is also popular.
The image below, click to enlarge, explains a bit more about how the dark web works:
Airbnb and Uber accounts are also worth £5+. The value of a hacked Uber account, given it can be used globally, is obvious. Whilst you can easily block your account any fraudster timing it right (eg taking rides in the early hours of the morning when the UK account holder is likely to be asleep) can easily get more than £5 of value before the plug is pulled.
Airbnb is more interesting. Hacking into the account of a host allows you to change their banking details and have stay money sent elsewhere. Hacking into the account of highly rated guests allows you to book high-end properties without suspicion and then burgle them.
Even Facebook accounts with no financial information sell for an average of £3.74 because the treasure trove of personal data you leave there is enough for many forms of identify theft. (How many of the security questions on your online banking account could be answered by someone who also had access to your Facebook account? HSBC tends to ask me: Your child’s middle name? The town where you went to school? Where did you live in the year 2000?)
It is a fascinating subject, at least for me, especially after what I learnt at the loyalty fraud conference I attended last year. You can read the full dark web report here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.