When you first used Tor to access Darknet Markets, I’m sure you were filled with joy when you realized that all your “Narcos” dreams had come true at the tip of your fingers. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it isn’t always as easy as pulling out your credit card and filling in your address in the designated forms – there’s a number of things you need to remember to keep your OPSEC (Operational Security) in shape and stop yourself from looking like an amateur. A good article to read is Jolly Roger’s Security Guide for Beginners. It’s not all about OPSEC though, in this article I’ll also mention how you can go about your business with annoying anyone else on your way.
- Stop messaging vendors about delivery times when you haven’t even read their profile. Most good vendors are already busy as it is, your unnecessary message will only cause your delivery time to take even longer. Before you even consider messaging a vendor, read every single detail in their profile description – 9 times out of 10, it’ll tell you how long to wait before messaging and disputing your order. Just because you selected 1 day delivery, doesn’t mean you can message the vendor one or two days after questioning where it’s at. We get it, you’re paranoid, but these vendors have a lot of work to do and your delivery won’t always come when it’s supposed to.
- This isn’t Amazon, neither is it Alphabay (those days are over – AlphaBay Bust). Always PGP encrypt your addresses, don’t be lazy. Some markets, including AlphaBay when it was up, will or would have encrypted your messages for you, but if OPSEC is your priority, do it the manual way. It only takes $10,000 worth of orders and a market bust and law enforcement will be onto you.
- Tumble your coins – make the traceable, untraceable. I know, with the amount of scams out there it feels risky to tumble your coins. But find a reputable site such as Helix Light by Grams and you’ll be fine. Split your deposit into small amounts and tumble them separately. That way it will not be the end of the world if anything happens.
- Oh please, Read Vendor Reviews. It sounds obvious but trust me, you can’t skip this step – give yourself 5 minutes to go through several pages of a particular vendor’s reviews page and make sure there isn’t anything too dodgy on there. The amount of times I’ve rushed an order because of the appealing prices and then read the reviews a day after only to be filled with regret is countless.
- Stop asking about product stock. Once you’ve stacked up some orders and have a list of your favorite vendors it becomes easy to want to complain or enquire about a product that has been removed. Don’t, it’s a big waste of time and you probably won’t get an answer. Read the vendors profile, it’s normally on there. Something along the lines of: ‘Random Strain will be back in stock within 2 weeks’. If it isn’t, I’m sure you can wait or just find another vendor. The more messages you send, the longer.
- Don’t encrypt messages that don’t contain any special information about you or something else. You won’t get in trouble by the PoPo for messaging a vendor about their favorite shoes. All it will mean is that you will piss the vendor off because he now has to spend the time to open up and decrypt your message.
- Start off small, and buy irregularly. Don’t complain if you ordered a kilogram of coke from a random vendor that you’ve never bought off before. Play it safe, buy small. Also, if you are a regular, the last thing you want to do is place your orders the same Friday after work every week. This just gives LE another option to track you down if such a scenario arises.
- Only buy from an escrow listing unless you are happy to take the risk. Even the best rated vendors will sometimes not refund your coins if your order has disappeared and the listing was not escrow. Think about this: the vendor has the coins, you’re probably at the bottom of their priority to sort out. They’ve nothing to lose except from maybe some reputation.
- Do not store your coins on any market, unless it’s something small. 1 of 2 things can happen. 1, you are very unlucky and the market gets seized. 2, your coins randomly disappear after two weeks of them being there. Don’t ask me why, it happens. Admins want their share too.
- Bookmark your Darknet Markets. Either that, or give DeepDotWeb a quick browse for the legitimate links. Everyone has done it where you don’t have the link at hand and give DuckDuckGo a quick search for the market login page and end up entering your details into some fake site. It’s normally too late once you’ve found out – 5 minutes in and the phisher has already logged in with your details, cancelled all orders and withdrew your precious Bitcoin or Monero. Another option is to take note of the login security warnings. E.g. On TradeRoute you are assigned an avatar the appears on the login screen. If this avatar ever changes, you know you are on a fake login page.
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