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Credit Card Scam and Pop Culture: Insights into the Perpetrators

Stopping credit card fraud is the mission for countless people and companies. Fraud results in billions lost each year. The funds are lost mostly by the credit card company, financial institutions, and merchants that are involved in either the theft or authorized the purchase. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, if your credit card is stolen or has an unauthorized use, the most that you can be liable for is $50.

Individuals committing the fraud are the input into this vast criminal cat and mouse game. Knowing what motivates people to take the illegal actions to make money can be helpful to understand the situation more completely. Creating music is an outlet for people’s goals, fears, hopes and frustrations. Rap music in particular has lent itself to voicing the struggle and trials of the artist. For people that engage in credit card fraud, the drive is the same. Voicing the state of mind while committing fraud is a way for those committing the acts to explain themselves and build their audience. The new subgenre has been called Scam Rap.

TeeJayX6 is a Detroit Rapper with a lyrical focus on scamming. His song, Dark Web, details how he gets bank identification numbers (BINs) to commit the fraud. Ranging from using the TOR Browser, using Bitcoins and getting cards. In the song, Swipe Story, he describes where the digital work comes into the real world. The business model involves using the card before it is flagged as fraudulent. The scammer then sells the loot or gift cards for cash.

The outcome for many of the proponents who are scamming is jail. Rapper Self Made Cash is one such rapper who claimed to be an amazing “swiper”. In the end, he was arrested. His actions included selling his methods for fraud. Which, were actually fraudulent as well. “Frequently posts pictures and videos on Twitter and Instagram containing large amounts of money, credit cards, and credit card skimmers to promote his proclivity for credit card fraud.”

Preventing being a part of the ecosystem of fraud is possible if companies and individuals follow certain steps. The Payment Card Industry Council guidelines give companies the guidance they need to prevent fraud. These steps include having secure website and encryption standards. Individuals should shop with trusted retailers and be guarded with personal information. Doing all this will keep you from being the target of a rap song.

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