DEFINITION of 'Fullz'

Fullz (or "fulls") is a slang term for "full information" that criminals who steal credit card information use to refer to a complete set of information on a prospective fraud victim. Fullz include, at a minimum, the victim’s full name and billing address; credit card number, expiration date and card security code; as well as their Social Security number and birth date. Criminals can typically sell fullz for about hundreds of dollars; incomplete sets of consumer data sell for far less. Criminals buy and sell fullz on the black market, frequently conducted online, and use them to commit credit card fraud, tax refund fraud, medical identity theft, and other types of fraud or impersonation.

BREAKING DOWN 'Fullz'

Criminals often obtain the information in fullz through hacking or data leaks. If you have been the victim of a company’s data breach, there could be fullz with your data available for sale on the Internet. Criminals also sell less complete data sets that include, for example, only enough credit card information to make fraudulent purchases online; a credit card’s magnetic strip data, which can be used to make counterfeit cards for fraudulent purchases in stores; or a victim’s PayPal account information, which can be used to siphon funds from a victim’s bank account. Fullz are frequently offered for sale in bulk lots available in online black markets These online black markets are often hidden on the dark web behind TOR routing and use privacy focused cryptocurrencies such as Monero or Zcash in order to hide buyers' and sellers' tracks.

There are basic steps anyone can take to minimize becoming an identity theft victim and having fullz with their personal and account information sold around the internet. It is important to always shred financial documents before throwing them away and to avoid conducting financial transactions over insecure Internet connections, such as public WiFi. However, it is difficult for consumers to avoid becoming victims of identity theft since they must share personal information for everything from applying for a credit card to going to the doctor, and consumers have no control over what the service provider does with their personal information once they provide it. Consumers should regularly monitor their bank and credit card accounts and their credit reports to check for signs of fraudulent activity and attempt to stop any fraud before it goes too far.

Laws protect consumers against financial losses caused by fraud, but they don’t protect against the hassle of fighting it.

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