October 10, 2018

Market for Scans

That's the market for scanned passports, not scammed passports, but hey!

From comparitech comes research on what it takes to get digital scans for opening KYC/AML procedures - presumably bank accounts.

Here are our key findings:
  • The average price of a digital passport scan is $14.71.
  • If proof of address or proof of identification -- a selfie, utility bill and/or driverís
  • license -- is added to a passport scan, the average price jumps to $61.27.
  • Australian passport scans were the most common, and yet, the most expensive ($32).
  • The average price of a real, physical passport is $13,567.
  • The average price of a counterfeit, physical passport is $1,478.

Aside from a lot of interesting detail on scans and templates, here's the real deal:

Authentic, state-issued passports are hard to come by and cost a lot, ranging from $8,216 (Germany) to $17,116 (UK). The average price of the eight supposedly genuine passports was $13,567. At least one vendor claims these passports came from "our corrupt immigration police contacts," though we have no way of verifying this. In many cases buyers are given the option to specify what details are included in the passport, including stamps for specific countries.

This puts a little more colour on the rough benchmark of a thousand per set - this might predict that any passport in such a deal needs to be a forgery. Or, I suspect there may be several distinct marketplaces - this research by comparitech was over "dark web" online interfaces where you as purchaser exchange your money for the goods/docs online, primarily with Bitcoin. Other research has worked with migrant channels where hard-at-luck locals are giving up their physical documents and reporting them stolen/lost.

Commentary on this will have to wait for another day.

Posted by iang at October 10, 2018 04:51 PM
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