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The Internet Bitcoin Crime Technology

How Online Black Markets Work 98

CWmike writes "The internet is no stranger to crime, writes corporate investigator Brandon Gregg. From counterfeit and stolen products, to illegal drugs, stolen identities and weapons, nearly anything can be purchased online with a few clicks of the mouse. The online black market not only can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection, but the whole process of ordering illicit goods and services is alarmingly easy and anonymous, with multiple marketplaces to buy or sell anything you want. Gregg started with $1000 and a took journey into the darker side of the Internet using two tools: Bitcoin and the Tor Bundle."
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How Online Black Markets Work

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  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Monday April 30, 2012 @03:56PM (#39849383)

    The authors, no doubt to avoid legal troubles, never actually go through with any transactions. But I would be very curious to know how many scammers are on these sites (not like you could report them to the cops if they didn't deliver). I imagine the feedback/rating system helps, but plenty of scammers found a way to game ebay's system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:09PM (#39849579)

    I was following the whole "Silk Road" site for a while. I even ordered a grey market (not illegal but not really legal to "sell for human consumption") drug off it, just to test the waters, and.... it didn't show up. So I sent the guy a message and... he appologized and sent another one, which did.

    I would even call that "good customer service". That said, scams must be a problem and I may have gotten lucky. Last I saw (I lost interest shortly thereafter....I also never tried the "research chemical" so I can't say whether it was real... I want to say it was AMT but, I honestly don't remember) they were talking about makeing "seller accounts" pay to join.

    That at least decreases the incentive to scam, if they implemented it. I looked at some other sites, and some of them had a more in depth verification process before you could start selling. Not sure what that amounts to, as I never went through it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2012 @04:42PM (#39850029)

    I know a number of people who have successfully ordered LSD (for ornamental purposes only) from a guy on Silk Road. It has a feedback system which works pretty well.

    Scammers can only get away with it a few times before changing user names, and few are willing to support a guy with 0 feedback when there are sellers with the same goods with tons of positive feedback.

  • by kyrio ( 1091003 ) on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:05PM (#39850301) Homepage
    If you look around and use your brain, Silk Road is just as good as any public site. eBay is filled with just as many scammers as there are legit sellers. Anyone with good feedback on Silk Road will be just as good as any legit retailer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30, 2012 @05:47PM (#39850839)

    Although it's possible, I think that would require too much cooperation between different law enforcement agencies. Remember you don't need a recipient's consent to send them an illegal substance. What they tell you to do when ordering their merchandise is to have it sent to a friends house. When the package arrives, take a marker and write "return to sender." Act like you don't know what's in it and then take it to a different location for consumption.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll