Step-by-step guides revealing how to steal cars and conduct vehicle scams are being sold by criminals on the internet’s dark web.
Select Car Leasing researched motoring related products listed on three popular marketplaces on the dark web to uncover the scams that criminals have in store for drivers in 2022.
A step-by-step guide revealing how to steal keyless cars – for £1.53
One of Select Car Leasing’s key findings was that car thieves are taking to the dark net to teach others how to steal cars. On numerous marketplaces, investigators from Select Car Leasing found guides to stealing keyless cars for as little as £1.53. Using relay technology, thieves can intercept the signal from a key fob and replicate it to trick the car into unlocking and starting up.
Keyless cars now make up 50% of all vehicle theft in the UK, and it’s clear to see where criminals turn to learn the trick of the trade.
Hire someone to hack Uber and list yourself as a driver – for £0.76
Arguably one of the most sinister findings in Select Car Leasing’s research is a listing claiming that for less than a pound, they will hack their way into the company’s database and list someone as a fake driver. Although there’s no way of knowing if the scam is technically possible from the surface, it’s scary to consider taxi travellers could be duped by a fake account that has infiltrated the system. Arguably the most dangerous driving-related service we found on the dark web, and also the cheapest.
Concerns for illegal drivers being able to access the app have surfaced in the past, most notably in London in 2019 where 14,000 trips were made by unauthorised drivers, including convicted felons.
Software that scans license plates to reveal your address – for £0.76
The illegal listings also cover in-car number plate scanning software, selling for cheaper than a bus ticket. The software that, once downloaded, can be used inside a car to scan reg plates of other cars to access the car’s registered address. The software gives car thieves a pick of any car they fancy as once they’re able to determine the address, they can visit the property, apply their learnings from the keyless car theft guide and drive off with their new motor.
Hire someone to wipe your vehicle’s history – for £38.21
The dark web’s offerings don’t just stop there – one seller promises to wipe a vehicle’s history for less than £40. Such a scam would allow a seller to amend their car’s odometer and maintenance history, perhaps covering up high mileages, sub-pair repairs, write offs or even previous owners.
Hire a con-artist to list fake vehicles on used car sites £38.21
Along the same lines of scams, other sellers promise tutorials for creating fake vehicle listings on used car sites, likely to lure buyers into paying deposits on cars that don’t exist before vanishing with the money. Only £38.21 is required, which is less than what you’d pay to list a real car on Auto Trader.
Get your hands on a fake driving license for £241.64
Criminals can get their hands on a new identity for £241.64, Select Car Leasing’s research found. It’s a far cry from the price of a real license in the UK, but the difficult to duplicate nature of UK licenses may make them worth the money. However, some European counterfeits were priced at just 77p in comparison.
GPS trackers available for £420.30
Another sinister find listed for sale are GPS trackers for cars, selling for over £400.00. Organised criminal gangs have been reported by The Telegraph turning to sophisticated tracking devices to seek out and steal valuable classic cars. Criminals sneakily attach electronic trackers to their target car to decipher where the owner lives. They would wait until the owner is otherwise engaged, then steal the valuable car.
Select Car Leasing.co.uk spoke to James Bore, Cyber Security Consultant from Bores Consultancy regarding the findings and he told them, “The dark web is a bit of an unclear concept.
“What it really refers to is any one of a number of parallel internets which is only accessible with a little technical knowledge, and is built on a supposed layer of anonymity for users. This level of anonymity and lack of oversight makes it an ideal place for criminal marketplaces and activity, whether that’s guides to carry out particular crimes, or purchasing tools to make them easier.
“Between the easy availability of this knowledge in guides and the relevant tools, criminals with even a little technical literacy are able to carry out what once would have been seen as extremely high tech crimes. Not only are they empowered to carry out crimes such as car theft using radio key repeaters, but dark web marketplaces and forums provide an accessible way to benefit from their crimes.
“There are certainly potential criminals who start their activities by picking up ‘guides’ to particular crimes, though these tend to be more along the lines of fraud. More likely criminals will use these guides to extend their abilities.”