Bullet-proof payment processors

Hongwei Tian, Stephen M. Gaffigan, D. Sean West, Damon McCoy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Abusively advertised online counterfeit luxury goods sales are a complex operation that requires accessible and reliable payment processing to transfer money from customer to merchant. Payment interventions have become one of many methods to combat this activity. In this paper, we examine the effectiveness of an intervention in the face of bullet-proof payment processors and possibly lessening fines levied by Visa Asia against banks found underwriting accounts for merchants violating intellectual property. Our study includes measurements from 424 successful test counterfeit luxury goods purchases over two years and direct interactions with payment processors associated with our purchases. We find that our long-running payment intervention results in a test purchaser detection and evasion arms-race with the bullet-proof processors. We also find that only one bank, the Bank of China, continues on boarding a majority of counterfeit luxury goods merchants for the entire two year period.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research, eCrime 2018
    PublisherIEEE Computer Society
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)9781538649220
    StatePublished - Jun 8 2018
    Event2018 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research, eCrime 2018 - San Diego, United States
    Duration: May 15 2018May 17 2018

    Publication series

    NameeCrime Researchers Summit, eCrime
    ISSN (Print)2159-1237
    ISSN (Electronic)2159-1245


    Other2018 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research, eCrime 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Diego


    • Economics
    • Measurement
    • Security

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Networks and Communications
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Information Systems
    • Information Systems and Management


    Dive into the research topics of 'Bullet-proof payment processors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this