Carding: Where is the boundary?

Hasit Bhatt
3 min readDec 1, 2019

I was going through some groups on Telegram (app) when I saw an ad stating someone selling a brand new iPhone for 5000 rupees, Pixel for 6000 and so on. On any other day, I would have ignored it thinking it’s a spam or some fake promises to get money out of gullible.

But it was a Sunday, so I said why not. I went to the group (which I later reported) mentioned, and the FAQs read something like the following.

  1. How to order
  2. Why I don’t accept calls
  3. How to trust us (yes, not “why”)

The most interesting one was the following:

4. How we sell the product so cheap?
We use hacked credit cards and gift cards for ordering the product.

For a moment, I felt like this must be a fake group. But then there were screenshots of amazon order pages and actual items and what not! Again, I don’t know if the photos were of the same things or not. And whether the screenshots were real or not. But it seemed real, with different names and addresses.

Now there are two possibilities:

  1. If the group was fake, or just an attempt to scam gullible people.
  2. It was real, and that group has become a medium for broke college students to buy iPhones and other costly mobiles for 4–5k.

Assuming the group was fake, scamming college folks who are almost broke and scamming them for 4–5k is a bad thing to do, but in that case, why didn’t they (the students) go to the police and file a complaint and get that group shut down? Why is that group still up and running with 20k+ group members?

But if the screenshots weren’t fake, what the hell are the college students thinking? It isn’t another lightning deal by one of the eCommerce sites; what you’re doing is a crime. You’re using someone else’s credit card to buy your stuff. And the amount that you’re paying goes to the hacker.

And when Police comes finding the one who bought that, it’s you. That eCommerce site has your name, address and phone that you had to give to ensure you receive the item.

Do you want to jeopardise your future for that iPhone you’re not going to use other than to show off that you bought out of someone else’s money (who may or may not receive it back)? Are okay with getting up to 3 years of imprisonment under the IT Act? Do you remember that relative or acquaintance of yours who lost their money due to credit card fraud? You have become that scammer for someone else.

Is it just that people don’t understand that the physical world and the internet world isn’t that different as it was in the 90s?

Or is it just that the newer generation (I know that includes me as well) has lesser or no sense of morality left?

P.S.: I know people have been doing this for a while, and I can still understand if a person or a small group is involved. But just the ease of it shook me. And what shook me at the core is the college students of prestigious universities ordering things; aware of how they are getting it for a cheaper rate.

P.P.S.: If someone knows what we can do about this (other than reporting it on Telegram, I already did that) other than ignoring that this is happening out there. Please do let me know!