A recent CNBC news report has highlighted that cybercriminals are using sophisticated methods to launder money.
Their nefarious schemes include using services like Airbnb and Uber to help turn fraudulent funds into cash.
The criminals are also offering to ‘clean’ dirty Bitcoins using mixers and other techniques.
How Is Bitcoin ‘Cleaned?’
Criminals on the dark web are offering various methods to help clean dirty Bitcoin.
They use “mixers” which divide the dirty Bitcoin into multiple accounts and transfer them through several other accounts.
These coins are eventually transferred into one clean, external account, and a fee is collected by the mixing service provider.
The details of this technique were provided by cybersecurity firm Trustwave’s SpiderLabs research lead Ziv Mador.
Mador also provided a dark web advertisement for the same in which a service provider “dice456” was offering a:
“way to clean your dirty coins … send me the Bitcoin, and I will change it to XMR [the symbol for Monero, another type of cryptocurrency] then convert it back to Bitcoin and send it to a brand-new wallet. This will break the chain of dirty business, and you can spend the coin with peace of mind. We charge 5% for this service.”
Uber and Airbnb Scams
Gig economy apps like Airbnb and Uber are being used by criminals to launder money.
Criminals hire Uber drivers to pretend to give them a ride.
The criminal never takes the ride and uses funds from a stolen credit card to pay for the trip.
The driver then wires part of the payment for the ride back to the criminal.
A similar case is seen with Airbnb as well where hosts post ads on the dark web.
No actual guests are hosted at the locations, and the payments from the fake guests are then refunded back them to them through Airbnb’s system.
Some of these criminals even claim to have recruited bank employees to help pass these illicit funds through real accounts.
These employees are advertising their services on the dark web. One advertisement on a dark web forum says:
“I can get unlimited UK bank drops and are ready for loading. Cashout will be within the same hour of money dropping into account, and your cut can be made any way you like.”