Feeds

Online fraudsters love webmail - true

Easier to block accounts linked to spamming than fraud

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Online fraudsters favour easy to set-up webmail accounts when perpetrating online fraud. Yahoo! accounts come first in a list of the top ten email addresses used by online card fraudsters compiled by Early Warning UK, a scheme set up to help retailers avoid credit card fraud.

Early Warning has established a database of fraudsters that includes tens of thousands of entries. Subscribers to its CardAware protection service add hundreds more each month. Analysis of the last three years' data shows webmail services (such as Yahoo! and Hotmail) are preferred by crooks. Email addresses are a vital tool for fraudsters because without them it's very difficult to place orders online.

Early Warning reckons webmail providers are not being proactive enough in blocking accounts when presented with evidence that they're linked with fraudulent activity.

Andrew Goodwill, managing director of Early Warning, said: "I contacted Hotmail's legal department in the UK. I suggested that once we had identified email addresses belonging to Hotmail that had been used to commit online credit card fraud, we would be willing to disclose this information automatically to them, so they could block the offending accounts immediately.

"They declined our offer, saying that they 'only co-operate with the police' in these matters. I strongly believe the verification process undertaken once a free email address is set up is totally inadequate and allows criminals to continue their illegal acts. We should be putting pressure on these email companies to clean up their acts and take responsibility for what their customers do," he added.

Moira Powley, Director of online store theprinterdatabase.com, an Early Warning subscriber, said that she'd stopped taking orders associated with Yahoo! webmail accounts after repeated incidents of attempted fraud.

"Do you Yahoo? Well, if you do, then I’m afraid we will assume you are a fraudster! Why? Because the majority of fraudulent attempts to buy online using a stolen identity have Yahoo! free email addresses. So, when we see Fred.Bloggs@yahoo.co.uk, we assume it is fraud," she said. ®

Top 10 email address domains linked to online fraud, according to Early Warning

  1. Yahoo.com
  2. Yahoo.co.uk
  3. Hotmail.com
  4. AOL.com
  5. Hotmail.co.uk
  6. Parrot.com
  7. Postmaster.com
  8. Lycos.co.uk
  9. Lycos.com
  10. Msn.com

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.