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How do cyber criminals spend their money?

It won’t come as a surprise to learn that the US is the country most targeted by fraudsters looking to steal card data, with the UK not far behind in second place. We all know fraudsters steal and sell card data and we are no longer so naive as not to realise that these attacks are rarely carried out by individual hackers. Fraud is an enterprise, a well-oiled machine run as a business. But what do these seasoned criminals do with the money they steal?

A recent talk by Mastercard at MPE 2019 in Berlin shed light on how fraudsters spend their money. Whilst some expenditures are expected, one in particular is very alarming.

15 per cent of all “profit” is spent on living costs, a further 15 per cent is spent on “bling” – jewellery and the like, 20 per cent on drugs and prostitution, 30 per cent is invested into property and other legitimate businesses, and the final 20 per cent is invested into crime. In essence, one data breach pays for the next and with the kind of resources available to them, having an effective fraud prevention system in place has never been more important.