Increasing numbers of teenagers are dabbling in cybercrime, with security experts saying many internet forums are populated by teenagers swapping credit card numbers, phishing kits and hacking tips.
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But the poor technical skills of many young hackers means they are very likely to get caught and arrested, they say.
"I see kids of 11 and 12 sharing credit card details and asking for hacks," Chris Boyd, director of malware research at FaceTime Security, told the BBC.
Boyd said he spent a lot of time tracking down the creators of nuisance programs written to exploit users of social networking sites, and that the culprit was often a teenager.
From these nuisance programs, he said, many progress to criminal practices such as using phishing kits to create and run their own scams.
"Some are quite crude, some are clever and some are stupid," he told the BBC.
The teenagers' attempts to make money from cybercrime usually come unstuck because of their poor technical skills.