Another seller of stolen credit cards on the dark web goes out of business. UniCC announced the decision on dark web forums in both Russian and English, according to Elliptic Enterprises Ltd, a blockchain forensics firm. According to Elliptic, UniCC is the largest dark web seller of stolen credit cards, with $358 million worth of purchases made through the cryptocurrency market since 2013.
“Don’t create conspiracy theories about our departure,” reads one of the posts. “It’s a weighted decision. We are not young anymore and our health does not allow us to work like this anymore.”
The announcement follows the closure of several other major dark web marketplaces. Joker’s Stash, the former market leader, pulled out about a year ago, and White House Market announced its closure in October, Elliptic reports. Two markets specializing in the sale of illegal drugs, Cannazon and Torrez, have also been closed in recent months.
Stolen credit cards are sold on online cryptocurrency marketplaces such as UniCC. The cards can have value and can be used to purchase items or gift cards, which can then be resold for cash. Such “carding” can also be used to launder cryptocurrencies obtained through other types of cybercrime.
According to Elliptic, tens of thousands of new cards were put up for sale on UniCC every day.
UniCC’s withdrawal comes at a time when the Biden administration and law enforcement are cracking down on criminal hackers. UniCC officials may also see the turmoil as “an opportunity to walk away with users’ funds or withdraw to avoid law enforcement attention,” Elliptic said.
“More and more dark web markets are voluntarily closing,” says Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson. “However, there is always the possibility that the site was actually shut down by law enforcement and they are now posing as the operator of the site.”
However, new marketplaces are already emerging. In June, the newly founded company All World Cards offered almost three million cards for free as part of a promotional campaign. Meanwhile, UniCC’s founders warned: “We ask you to be smart and not follow fakes associated with our comeback.”