Scamming has, and always will be, a huge issue for any Dark Net Market user. How do you know you’re going to receive the product that’s described in a listing? There are many trains of thought on this issue and many people have vocalized the simple solution “Don’t Finalize Early! Don’t give them money until you get your product!” which is a wonderful piece of advice. When placing an order on a marketplace, there will be an escrow system that holds onto your funds until you authorize the release to the seller.
It’s a classic system, one that has been used even since before Silk Road came to life – the trusted middleman holds onto the funds while the deal is taking place to avoid one person from pulling some kind of scam on the buyer/seller. However, there are still risks involved, and many ask themselves “Why do people finalize early?”
When it comes down to it, someone may be so inclined to finalize an order that hasn’t made it to them yet (or even worse, before the vendor even confirms the order) because of a foundation of trust. Putting your trust into a seller who has provided quality products and has quality feedback makes the escrow system look pointless. When a buyer is staring at 5/5 reviews, with hundreds of orders, there won’t be a single doubt in that buyers mind that anything could possibly happen.
This is where the critical judgment error occurs. Exit scamming has turned into an art – a lucrative and manipulative one, at that. Let’s look back to the original Silk Road, and take a look at one vendor in particular – Tony76.
Now, the more experienced Dark Net users may have an idea of who this is already, but in case you don’t, I’ll give a brief summary. Tony76 registered an account on Silk Road on 10/01/2012, nearly 3 years ago. He was most prominently known for his high quality Heroin, allegedly the best on the market at that time, but also sold MDMA and other products. This vendor was doing everything right, and had great prices and a great army of supporters who would never doubt a thing he said. His prices were so good, he was making a huge name for himself, and it was showing. Customer satisfaction proved to be number one, and over time all buyers had no issues whatsoever buying “finalize-early only” listings, because, hey, it’s Tony! What could go wrong?
Needless to say, Tony disappeared after a massive sale and took his customers Bitcoin with him, never to return, never to ship another package. This is quite an elaborate exit scam, in the sense that it was the “long-con”, make everyone think exactly what you want them to think over the course of a few months and run. This is relevant now more than ever, as there are many FE-only vendors popping up with excellent prices.
History tends to, and will, repeat itself. Don’t get your money stolen by somebody you only know through the internet – it’s silly and when it happens you’ll ask yourself how you could have made such an error. Granted, the escrow system does have its flaws. What if the market goes down, or gets seized, what happens to your money? It’s gone. That’s the inherent risk of Dark Net Markets, and you must always be prepared for the worst. An alternative to this is taking advantage of marketplaces which use multisig escrow , for maximum buyer/seller security, which is implemented on several markets.
Many people will still choose to finalize orders on their own terms, and as long as you know what risk you’re taking by trusting an anonymous vendor, than it’s your call. Stay safe, everyone.
Some Types Of Internet Security Threats
The world we are living in is making a fast evolution to digitize everything. Books, weight loss programs, music, even parties and classes are all now available online in digital form. Indeed, the technology for all these applications continues to innovate and grow exponentially fast.Needless to say, with this raging growth in the online industry follows a rapidly increasing number of cyber security threats. As every aspect of our lives turns digital, we are in turn becoming more and more open to having our files compromised, our privacy violated, and our information stolen. Government and hackers alike are to blame, because Internet surveillance is now pervasive in almost every country, despite public protest over such bad measures.
There is a host of obvious threats to your Internet security and here’s what online users should watch out for.
Ransomware is a sickening form of malicious software, which infects victims’ computers, locks up all, or some documents and asks for payment in exchange for them to regain access. Cryptolocker – the most infamous example of ransomware – was earlier this year dealt as huge blow when several people were arrested by federal officials for allegedly being involved in the scam.
And, although that crackdown was a great step, Internet security experts say the software is still spreading and it is now moving to new soft targets. Intel’s McAfee Labs, has managed to track a rapidly rising number of ransomware attacks, especially on mobile devices.
Possibly scarier: Internet security experts generally recommend that people back up their data in order to avoid the pain of losing access to their documents and files, however, McAfee has warned that new ransomware strains might attempt to target securely stored login info for cloud backup service and lock up the files too.Consider backing up your documents to external hard drives to avoid ransomware threats. Just like with many other kinds of malware, this one is also often unknowingly downloaded when consumers click on links or open email attachments.
However, if you at any one time you become a victim of ransomware attacks, please avoid the temptation of paying up. There is absolutely no guarantee the villains will actually free up your files, and funding Internet security crooks’ activities only worsens up the matter.
Malicious messages that certainly seem like the real thing
Cybercriminals mostly deliver malicious software or obtain personal information by tricking their victims with messages that really seem as legitimate. Download the attachment or click the link, and you have unintentionally infected your mobile device or computer.
Such malicious e-mails were once unsophisticatedly done: poor grammar, broken images, or other hints that the messages were not really coming from your mom or the bank. However, cybercriminals now have advanced increasingly and are now using toolkits’ at their disposal to help them build very truthful-looking malware and messages.
They can direct a tool at any website, say a school, and it scrapes the actual school site’s language, logo, language, everything. Internet security experts used to tell consumers to stay clear of things that look suspicious, but these advanced toolkits’ can trick even sensitive customers. It is all turning out to be a more professional game that is likely to hurt many Internet users globally.
It is a highly sophisticated spin on old attacks, and it’s worrying that consumers are always wrongfully assuming they shall be able to know any malicious e-mail. The best thing you can to do remain safe from this type of Internet security threat is by simply not clicking on links coming from any e-mail.
If that is really too extreme for you, then be sure to hover your mouse over hyperlinks ensure they are taking you to the site they claim to be. And, if it appears even remotely wrong or strange, do not click the link. Try to exercise extreme caution whenever you are dealing with any attachments as well.
Targeting the “one percent”
Although cybercriminals may target a particular government or company entity, they generally don’t spend much time targeting a single person because the possible financial pay-off is not worth their time. Nonetheless, wealthy consumers are the exception, according to a recent Internet security research carried out.
It is highly expected that cybercriminals will have a more active eye towards the wealthy – the one percent. If a criminal thinks he/she can get a serious amount of money from a victim, he/she can decide to spend a lot of time on a personalized attack.Even if you are part of the 99%, Internet security experts warn that consumers must desist from giving out information like employers, birthdays, as well as other bio details on Facebook , Twitter, and other sites. Crooks can be devious about leveraging this info.
Cyberwar and Espionageware
What Internet security experts have been terming as a “Cyber Cold War” for quite some time is now ramping up very quickly. Indeed, many nations and states both strong and weak see cyber-attacks, as the best weapon to counter United States’ global influence.
Therefore expect an increase in malicious software being used by governments to spy on the activities of certain individuals. Amnesty International recently released an antispyware tool, which scans devices for surveillance software belonging to governments.
Overall, Internet security experts predict the number of cyber-attacks will go up in 2015 and beyond. It is scary stuff, but there is hope that public awareness and conversation will as well increase. Of course, that will not happen overnight, but in order to make changes a conversation will have to be started.
In the meantime, there are a handful of best practices that can protect average persons from a host of vulnerabilities likely to face them. First, ensure to keep your antivirus software always updated, never store sensitive personal info online or on e-mails, use strong passwords, never sign into accounts when using Wi-Fi networks that are public and exercise extreme caution when downloading attachments or clicking links.
Rules For Market & Vendor Shops ListingSo you own a market and want to have it market listed on DeepDotWeb? These are the rules you must follow:
- Deposits & withdrawals must be fully functional (will be tested regularly from various accounts).
- Must have several active (5 – 10) vendors on your site.
- Must have uptime higher than 75%
- Must not be down / inactive / unusable for over a week without letting us & the users know why.
- Must not shill and leave good reviews for yourself or bad reviews for other markets. We see those, and normally ignore & delete them, but do it to much and you will be kicked out.
- Upon submission, please include all the needed data to create a full market chart listing for your market – its your responsibility to keep us informed with any updates.
- Must be an active vendor (provable) for over a year.
- Must send us a PGP signed message containing your shop url + link your profile on one of the active markets OR Grams infodesk containing the same PGP key & user reviews.
- Must have at least 4.7 users rating average.
- Must have uptime higher than 75%
- Deposits & withdrawals must be fully functional.
- Should not have too many users scam reports about doing direct deals with you.
- Must not shill and leave good reviews for yourself or bad reviews for other markets / vendors. We see those, and normally ignore & delete them, but do it to much and you will be kicked out.
- Deposits & withdrawals will not be fully functional – without a reasonable explanation from you.
- Your uptime will be lower than 75%
- For vendors – high number of scamming reports.
Rules for Posting Market ReviewsMarket reviews are very important aspect of all market’s reputation and crucial the how users & vendors decide which market to use, thats why we take them very seriously, so once and for all i decided to post a clear list of guidelines for posting market reviews.
Basically, your review MIGHT be deleted if it will contain anything but market review, that means:
- If It will contain blatant advertising of some products (i.e post your vendor ad on several markets).
- If you will post the same review more than once (even if the text is different).
- If you will Shill = leave good reviews for yourself and bad for others. This is a very common reason for disapproval or deletion.
- If you will Give a market low score because a vendor scammed you, doesn’t matter if you FE’d, stayed in escrow, or used multisig, its your problem, not the market.
- If you will post any kind of personal information.
- If you will post links to downloadable files.
- If you will post non-darknet related contact info (ie. Skype , ICQ , Email etc).
- If it will contain anything that will be suspected as scam service / site.
- If it will contain anything that will be suspected as phishing – If you want to let us know about url changes or alternative urls, use the contact page.
- If you will post referral links.
- If you will leave low score because you got phished (We test all markets on a regular basis from anonymous accounts to know if you can deposit / withdraw) so no point at leaving “Admins are scammers!!!11! i can’t login after deposit” or “EXIT SCAM!!!” reviews because YOU got phished, lost your password, PIN or whatever. Its getting out of control.
- If you will post unrelated / unknown links to other sites / services.
- If you will post more than one review in a row to add more info, they will be merged into one.