Criminals using YouTube to advertise stolen credit card info

19 Jun 2014

Criminals have been uploading videos advertising their services on YouTube in a flagrant breach of the video-sharing site’s policies regarding illegal activities.

US organisation the Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA) has highlighted the issue and accused the Google-owned site of not doing enough to take the videos down.

According to a 13-page report by DCA, a search on how to get valid 2014 credit card numbers brought back about 16,000 results. One video was attached to an ad for US discount retailer Target, who suffered one of the largest breaches of customer information this year.

Speaking to Bloomberg, executive director of the DCA said they were shocked at the lack of monitoring by the site. “We were stunned at what we found. We found dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of stolen credit cards being sold on YouTube.”

YouTube and Google have responded to the report by saying, “YouTube’s review teams respond to videos flagged for our attention around the clock, removing millions of videos each year that violate our policies.”

The Washington, D.C.-based organisation ended the report by saying Google is ignoring an issue that is just as comparable to other material that is instantly taken down from YouTube.

“When Google decides that a crime is serious, like illegal pharmacies and child pornography, it takes action. Isn’t it time that Google stops judging which crimes are serious enough for action and which are tolerable consequences? And just as importantly, isn’t it time that they stop profiting from it?”

Credit card fraud image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic