Hacked PayPal accounts have been increasing in value since the start of the pandemic. According to the research data analyzed and published by Wette.de, they are worth 9.2 cents per dollar in the account as of September 2021, up by 293% over the past eight months.
But because PayPal account details are the most popular among payment processors, they are also relatively cheap. According to Privacy Affairs, a hacked TransferGo account costs $510 on average in 2021. Verified Stripe accounts with payment gateways are the most expensive, at $1,000.
Part of the reason for the increase in hacked PayPal account pricing is the prevalence of online payments amid the pandemic. Hacked PayPal accounts were worth an average of $196.50 across the multiple marketplaces that the analysis covered. They held an average account balance of $2,133.61.
Unlike PayPal accounts, hacked credit cards have seen a significant decline in value. While cyber criminals previously paid 0.42 cents per dollar on the card, they now pay 0.33 cents per dollar. MasterCard was the most valuable of all cards assessed, 6.47 cents per dollar. Credit card details stolen from the US are among the cheapest globally due to high supply. Their average price in 2021 is $17, less than half the global average of $35.
Compromised crypto accounts are also highly valuable due to the skyrocketing value of digital assets. The most expensive one this year is a Kraken verified account, which is worth $810 on average. Accounts on Crypto.com are the cheapest, worth $300. For hacked social media accounts, the value has dropped considerably since 2020. Hacked Gmail accounts sell for around $80 on the dark web, $76 lower than last year.
The findings from Comparitech also examined multiple dark web marketplaces to study how the prices of stolen payment information changed over time, and found that right now, the cost of a stolen PayPal account is 9.2 cents per dollar in the account balance.
The average price of a hacked PayPal account or balance transfer is now $197, the report states.
Compared to similar research carried out by Comparitech eight months ago, the price of a stolen PayPal account is now 194% higher. At the same time, the price for a stolen credit card fell by 27%. Compared to pre-pandemic times, the cost of a stolen PayPal account rose by 297%.
Of all the different types of cards, MasterCard accounts seem to be the most expensive, costing 6.47 cents per dollar of credit limit, followed by Discover with 6.27 cents per dollar. With 5.75 cents per dollar, Visa rounds off the top three, followed by American Express (5.13 cents per dollar).
Similar to cards, PayPal accounts also have different tiers, such as Premier or Business, but these don’t affect the price, Comparitech said. Instead, the cost is governed mostly by account balance.
Stolen PayPal accounts, the report concludes, are growing in popularity because unlike credit cards, they can be accessed from anywhere with a web browser, usually have existing balances, and are easy to use. Furthermore, it became a common form of payment, with many merchants accepting it.