How To Make Money On The Dark Web
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How To Make Money On The Dark Web
More and more people are now buying and selling things on the darkest corners of the internet. Most of us are familiar with the large eCommerce platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, Walmart and eBay. Often these are the first places where we buy our products online.
But for items of the more “unsavory” type, there is an entire world out there called of the Dark Web where you can find nearly anything you can image for purchase. Many of these good and services are illegal and almost all of these sites do not advertise.
But many folks are making lots of money buying and selling in the Dark Web.
*Publisher Note: We do not condone any illegal activity. This article is for information purposes. Quite frankly we were shocked in our research at what was out there and possible. If you’re looking for ways to make money, there are much simpler and less risky ways of making money. Do not use any of this information to conduct illegal activities.
What Is The Dark Web?
The Dark Web is composed of hidden websites that can be accessed only through prior knowledge and exclusive means. Typically, anyone can get access to these sites, the challenge is finding them. They don’t come up on search engines and certainly don’t market themselves.
Very few people know where these sites are hosted or who owns them. And users will use fake names or aliases to interact with these sites and communities.
Because of the two-way anonymity for both the visitor and host of the website, there are many strange and illegal interactions that take place.
The Origin Of The Dark Web
On October 29, 1969, a student from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), sent the first-ever computer-to-computer electronic mail. The system used for this was called the ARPANET.
The ARPANET started as a precursor to the modern internet. Unluckily, it did not take a long time for individuals to set up their own unlisted networks, called the darknets, that relied on the ARPANET framework. These darknets helped pioneer the invention of the internet. In fact, the first-ever online purchase was not even clothes or books. It was cannabis.
In the early 1970s, a group of students from Stanford University co-opted ARPANET to help them deal drugs. The business started small, but these kids were able to maximize the power of the internet to keep their transactions hidden and secretive.
The Dark Work evolved into becoming one of the most profitable ways to run business in the online world. Image, running transactions off the grid, often using bitcoin as currency, and never declaring or paying taxes on any profits. The Dark Web is it’s own marketplace run purely by supply and demand and typically through work do mouth
Let’s explore how the proponents profit from this.
Ways To Make Money On The Dark Web
Believe it or not, the dark web offers a lot of products and services up for purchasing. But what are these exactly, and how do they make money out of it?
Selling Things On The Black Market
One of the most obvious ways that people make money on this platform is by selling items on the market, such as drugs. Think of it as a regular online shopping site. The only difference between these two is that the individuals who are buying and selling inside are anonymous. The sites acts as the central middleman to ensure fair dealings between seller and buyer and as any middleman would, they get paid a cut from each transaction from their site.
Some examples of products in the Dark Web include drugs, weapons, stolen cellphones, credit card numbers, personal ID, and even services are that are too heinous to mention.
Now in all fairness, there are also legal goods that are sold but typically are less mainstream, often strange or very niche to a subculture.
What Can You Sell On The Dark Web?
On the dark web, items such as credit card numbers, bank account information, employee login credentials, Zoom account credentials and meeting IDs, and other personally identifiable information can be sold.
There are also dangerous and illegal items such as weapons, narcotics, and stolen goods that can be sold. Cyber criminals have been known to make thousands or even millions of dollars by selling stolen data on the dark web.
What Are The Most Expensive Items On The Dark Web?
Passports are the most expensive items on the Dark Web, with an average price of $600 per document.
Other items such as PayPal transfers from stolen accounts ranged from $1000 to $3000, with an average price of $320.39, while Western Union transfers from stolen accounts cost around $155.94 on average.
The most expensive item found in the dataset was premium malware, which costs about $5,500 per 1,000 installs. The Dark Web Product Price Index 2022 also found that the average price of a product on the Dark Web is $20.
Our world is rapidly evolving. Travelers use Uber to request a ride across cities and tourists visit AirBnB to find alternative accommodation to hotels. Services sold on the internet is not new so why not hire the services of a thief?
The Dark Web does provide the capability of hiring a thieves, on demand. For those with loose morals, instead of going to to your local store to purchase a new flat-screen TV or the latest gadget in the market, you can hire someone to steal it for you. It has become more popular across North America and Europe in the latest years.
For the price (typically a percentage of the value of the item), you can find someone to steal it for you.
Hire A Hacker
Another primary source of income in the Dark Web is hacking. Individuals or companies (or governments) target their enemies with hacking attacks and turn their lives upside down. Hackers can steal and resell various information, change school grades, work details in business systems, crash websites, and many more illegal acts.
Some whitehat hackers will test website and businesses security to help protect for blackhat hackers.
The Dark Web is a home for hackers.
Sell Your Identity
Believe it or not, you can also make money by selling your identity.
Hackers and other individuals look for identify of well respected citizen to leverage to help them gain trust to open up back accounts, defraud individuals, or conduct their hacking activities under someone else’s brand.
The only problem with this approach is that it is a short-term stint of around 60 days because the value of your identity declines due to your name becoming tainted by various activities and users. Once your name saturates the market, these people won’t be able to use it anymore in whatever way they want.
Change Your Look
Changing your look does not involve a hair and make-up makeover. Instead, more and more enterprising vendors are now offering silicone masks in the Dark Web which you can use for disguises yourself for video conferencing. What’s surprising about this strategy is that it is indistinguishable and unnoticeable at a glance.
Again these individuals will put on the mask in order to hide their identity for a number of activities they are involved in.
Steal And Sell Others’ Identities
Unfortunately, this is a very common activity. The theft of other identities to be resold on the dark web.
Often, hackers will target large enterprises because of the target rich environment. With just 1 hack they could steal tens of thousands of Social Security Numbers or Social Insurance Numbers, dates of birth and individual names. Enough for someone to leverage these individual identities for scams or other personal gain.
Once the identifies are gained, these hackers troll the message boards in the Dark Web or know of specific websites where these can be traded
Increase Twitter Follower Count
This is not entirely illegal, but you can maximize the Dark Web if you want to increase your Twitter following (or pretty much any social following). In just a few clicks and a small amount of money, you can easily be a proud owner for a ton of new Twitter followers. Believe it or not, there is no upper limit to how many followers you can get. The only factor you should consider is to think the maximum number of followers you can get away before your real friends get suspicious.
Illegal Match Fixing
This is another money-spinner for illegal investors to make a quick profit. The way illegal match-fixing works is that a “Fixer” has an athlete or team already lined up to lose a specific sporting match. This would be a game where bets are taken (either legally in Vegas or in underground sport betting organizations). As an “investor” you give a certain amount of money and the “fixer” guarantees a percentage back (sometime as much as 50%). Image making $0.50 on every dollar you bet!.
Since the result is predetermined, the risk is low.
The Fixer uses the capital from the Investors and places very large scale scale bets on matches and makes a profit for himself and a return for the investors.
Often minimum bets are no less than $20,000 and there is a risk that the team expected to lose sometimes doesn’t go through with it. I guess there really is no such thing as risk free investment.
Sell Self Pictures
If you are proud of your body and are not embarrassed to expose yourself, selling photographs of yourself can be profitable.
Often individuals selling pics of themselves will specialize in one niche only to target specific fetishes.
There are a myriad of other product and services available on the Dark Web. It is really limited to your imagination and supply and demand.
Understand that getting involved in the Dark Web is very much playing with fire.
How Do The Hosts Get Paid?
In the past, people rely on messengers to deliver money from activities. This was the best way since they remain anonymous in the eyes of one another. However, more recently. another mode of payment has risen in the digital world – cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
To start, cryptocurrencies work like real money, but in the digital setting. This technique is more suitable for the Dark Web since there is no specific person linked to any transaction. Cryptocurrencies rely on encryption and blockchain, a particular distributed central ledger, to assure and verify all money flow. These procedures do not need any ID as a supplement.
Earning Legitimate Dollars
As you can see, most of the business that happen under the Dark Web income stream falls on the wrong side of the law. There might be times that individuals transact clean money, but that is only a tiny fraction of the operations. Overall, it is risky to enter the intricacies of the Dark Web.
To know the inside stories of the Dark Web, check out The Darkest Web: The Inside Story of the Internet’s Evil Twin by Eileen Ormsby.
[Top image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay ]