20 Illegal And Dirty Ways To Make Money Online Fast From Home: The Bad Side Hustles To Become Rich

Are you looking for some dirty ways to make money online? What are the easiest illegal ways to make money? Here’s a list of 20 inappropriate ways to become a millionaire or a billionaire.

Before you proceed to read till the end of this article, there is one question I want to ask, “Did you really read and understand the title!?”.

If you’re still keen to read, then I can boldly say you’re desperate to amass insane wealth. However, there are some honest side hustles and ways of making money as a teen, and as an adult.

The world is falling apart, and desperate times call for desperate measures. It might be time to get shady with it.

We all know getting into a business can make or break your entire economical status. You can end up going from dirty rags to even dirtier riches, or you could go from being a high flyer to a petty lowlife. One of the ways to get around that confusion is the illegal businesses that make more money than some of the most profitable legal businesses worldwide.

Yep, today we’re looking at the best crimes to make money. 

Full Disclaimer: This post is entirely for entertainment purposes, obviously. But even those of us on the up-and-up can learn a thing or two from the criminal world of fast money, easy money, and illegal side hustles. (And if you’re seriously considering any of these shady money-making ideas, read until the end to see why they’re totally not worth it…)

So without further ado, welcome to the dark and crazy world of illegal side hustles.

Highest-paying illegal businesses in the world

1. Sell illegal counterfeit goods: $250 billion annually.
2. Become a drug dealer: $300 billion annually.
3. Get rich with an illegal Ponzi scheme.
4. Human Trafficking: $31.6 billion annually.
5. Timber: $15 billion annually.
6. Illicit Fish Market: $11.3 billion annually.
7. Unregistered Oil Trade: $10.8 billion annually.
8. Illegal Wildlife Trade: Around $10 billion.
9. Illegal Art Trade: Around $6 billion annually.
10. A Black market for Gold: $2.3 billion annually.
11. Illegal Organ Trade: Around $1 billion annually.
12. Black Arms Trade: Around $1 billion annually.
13. Blood Diamonds: Around $900 million annually.
14. Rob a bank.
15. Play the lines like an illegal sports gambler.
16. Start Embezzling.
17. Become a spammer.
18. Become a hacker.
19. Start pimpin’.
20. Sell your body.

Here are the most profitable illegal businesses from around the world!

1. Sell illegal counterfeit goods: $250 billion annually.

Counterfeit goods are produced (predictably) in China, Taiwan, India, and a couple of other countries. The money from these sales usually goes into furthering other criminal activities like prostitution and the drug trade.

Literally, every top brand has a group of individuals in their secret locations that are replicating them in their own style and blindfolding the public to make a fortune out of it.

The most counterfeited brands? Rayban, Rolex, Supreme, Louis Vitton, and Nike according to the OECED, an anti-counterfeiting organization.

But criminals don’t limit their counterfeiting to just fashion. Ripping off electronics, toys, and cigarettes are also big moneymakers. Plus, the most dangerous counterfeit category of them all – pharmaceutical drugs.

(Most of the pill overdoses you hear about, including high-profile cases like the deaths of Prince and Heath Ledger, can be traced back to counterfeit opioids.)

Whether it’s a drug or a sneaker, if it’s got a brand, somebody’s probably trying to copy it.

There have been several cases where dealers in these businesses have been arrested by the FBI.

According to Forbes, counterfeiting is now the largest criminal enterprise in the world and it has crossed the trillion threshold. How large? Try a $1.7 trillion industry.

Scoopwhoop also suggests that this illegal and dirty way to make money is worth around $250 billion annually.

illegal side hustle - counterfeit goods - 20 Illegal And Dirty Ways To Make Money Online Fast From Home: The Bad Side Hustles To Become Rich
Rudy soaked the labels off thousands of wines, Catch Me If You Can style.

2. Become a drug dealer: $300 billion annually.

Dealing with illicit drugs is one of the most lucrative illegal businesses in the world worth a staggering amount per year. It mostly involves drugs that cross international borders. Basically Cocaine, which is made mostly in Colombia and Peru, and Heroin, manufactured mostly in Afghanistan, are worth a shit load of dough.

Most of you have heard of the famous drug dealer, Pablo Escobar. Cocaine Kingpin Pablo Escobar once had so much money that instead of turning on the heater, he burned $2 million in cash.

Pablo Escobar was reportedly supplying 80% of the world’s cocaine – an accomplishment that earned him $420 million a week during his cartel’s peak. (And had him spending $1,000 per week on… rubber bands for all that cash.)

Yes, Pablo Escobar made $22 billion a year selling drugs. Seriously.

In fact, Escobar’s insane earnings actually led to his downfall, because he was bringing in so much cash that he literally couldn’t launder the money fast enough. Instead, he resorted to storing cash in old warehouses, inside the walls of his houses, and even in empty farm fields.

Not ideal. This is probably why his accountant budgeted a staggering $2.1 billion a year in ruined cash, usually from water damage, mold, or rats eating the bills.

20 Illegal And Dirty Ways To Make Money Online Fast From Home: The Bad Side Hustles To Become Rich
Source: Source: colacherald

3. Get rich with an illegal ponzi scheme.

The classic Ponzi scheme is one of the oldest tricks in the book. But that hasn’t stopped it from being widely successful throughout history!

With a Ponzi scheme, you promise investors out-sized returns. But instead of actually earning those returns, you just pay out profits using funds from newer investors.

While investors think the returns are from incredible product sales, your brilliant investing decisions, or some other means, the perpetrator of the Ponzi Scheme is literally just robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The scheme was named after the conman Charles Ponzi, who in the 1920s, promised U.S. investors a 50% profit within 45 days by investing in postage stamps. (Or for the patient, a 100% profit in 90 days!)

His scheme was so wildly successful that he even got a front-page feature on The Boston Globe, resulting in thousands of new investors lining up outside his office, ready to give Ponzi their money.

At its peak, Ponzi’s scheme was earning him over $250,000 a day (about $3 million in today’s dollars) and Charles Ponzi lived a lifestyle of big mansions, fancy cars, and first-class ocean liner tickets.

However, there’s just one problem with Ponzi schemes – they’re pretty much doomed to failure.

A few months later, Ponzi’s con came crashing down when people finally did the math and realized his investment strategy was impossible. This led to another front-page newspaper story. Except for this time, it was about his history of fraud in Canada. Knowing he was about to be arrested, Ponzi turned himself in.

All told, Ponzi stole $20 million from his fraud – nearly $200 million in today’s dollars.

Not to be outdone, American investor Bernie Madoff resurrected the Ponzi scheme in the early 2000s. He did a good job, too! Madoff is the current Ponzi Scheme champ, a title that also gives him the infamous title as the perpetrator of the largest financial fraud in world history.

From 1960 to 2008, Madoff ran a well-respected wealth management company and was widely considered one of Wall Street’s best investors. So much so, that he raised $36 billion from many of the world’s wealthiest and most famous people.

There was just one problem…

Madoff wasn’t actually earning those amazing returns. He was just writing them down on paper and then hoping his house of cards never fell.

Unfortunately, Madoff’s con came crashing down in 2008. With the stock market falling, Madoff’s investors began panicking and asking to withdraw their money from the fund in unprecedented volumes. But since Ponzi schemes rely on a steady stream of new investors, Madoff quickly found himself $100 million short…

He was arrested in December 2008 and sentenced to 150 years in prison. The total estimated cost of his fraud? $64.8 billion dollars.

20 Illegal And Dirty Ways To Make Money Online Fast From Home: The Bad Side Hustles To Become Rich

4. Human Trafficking: $31.6 billion annually.

One of the worst crimes, people susceptible to coercion, people who are kidnapped or somehow forced into this trade have the hardest lives, are used as sexual slaves and abused, and are usually brought from India, China, and Colombia.

20 Illegal And Dirty Ways To Make Money Online Fast From Home: The Bad Side Hustles To Become Rich
Source: Source: community

5. Timber: $15 billion annually.

Contrary to the claims of preserving the Amazon, there are widespread reports of unregulated and illegal logging activity, especially from Brazil and Peru, which are then sold over the world. This environment-destroying practice constitutes 30% of the global timber trade.

Source: Source: landreport

6. Illicit Fish Market: $11.3 billion annually.

Any fish stock sold in the international market that is illegal, unreported, or unregulated counts as part of the illicit fish trade. Sounds kind of lame but anything making this much money obviously commands some pretty serious collateral.

Source: Source: qzprod

7. Unregistered Oil Trade: $10.8 billion annually.

Illicit oil, sold for either profit or for more political reasons like financing armed rebellion, is a boom illegal industry. The oil comes from places like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran.

Source: Source: palatinate

8. Illegal Wildlife Trade: Around $10 billion.

Poaching and animal mutilation are done mostly for fur, traditional medicines, and exotic pets. Things like tiger skins and rhino horns are a huge part of this unfortunate market.

Source: Source: Twitter

9. Illegal Art Trade: Around $6 billion annually.

You must have seen a couple of heist movies where some Ocean’s Eleven types steal a priceless piece of art. The people who buy that art and sell it off to collectors are called fences. Anyway, there’s a whole market for this stuff.

Source: Source: Chinadailyasia

10. Black market for Gold: $2.3 billion annually.

Thanks to differing and extreme licenses and regulations required for the import of gold, the black market for gold has grown exponentially, usually under the control of ruthless mine owners.

Source: Source: crisiboom

11. Illegal Organ Trade: Around $1 billion annually.

It’s no secret that there’s a thriving black market for organs, especially kidneys. Economically weaker people in countries like Brazil, India, and China get duped into selling their kidneys for a fraction of the actual price, which is then supplied to rich and desperate recipients in places like the USA and Australia.

Source: Source: r4platform

12. Black Arms Trade: Around $1 billion annually.

Weapons such as AK47, grenade launchers, and other arms that have been in circulation for a while are sourced from countries such as Russia and Austria and are sold almost exclusively to developing nations.

Source: Source: dispatch

13. Blood Diamonds: Around $900 million annually.

Precious stones sourced from places like Ivory Coast, Angola, and Sierra Leone have been in the black market for ages. Despite constantly improving certification processes, UAE and the USA continue to buy these up.

Source: Source: mining

14. Rob a bank.

Is there a more cliche way to get rich illegally than pulling off a bank heist?

Probably not. This is why this strategy has wielded some of the wildest and craziest true stories ever.

There’s the 2006 classic Securitas Depot Robbery, where a British team of 6+ robbers (including former UFC fighter, Lee Murray) impersonated a police officer, kidnapped the depot manager and his family at gunpoint, and forced him to open the vaults.

That team made off with $92 million in cash – so much that they literally spent hours loading it onto multiple trucks. To this day, it’s still the largest bank heist ever. (Topped only by a strange technicality, when Saddam Hussein pulled some political strings to rob the Central Bank of Iraq of nearly $1 billion dollars. But that’s cheating.)

They almost got away with it too. Despite the world knowing he was guilty, Lee Murray fled to Morocco, where he spent months living it up in a million-dollar mansion and golden Mercedes-Benz, thanks to a strange extradition policy between the U.K. and Morocco at the time. Eventually, though, Murray was arrested, and he’s currently serving 25 years in a Moroccan prison.

Then there’s the Banco Central Burglary in Brazil. There, a 25 member gang created a fake landscaping business, bought the property next to the bank, and spent three months digging a 300-foot underground tunnel leading underneath the bank vault’s floor. Then, over the weekend, the team poked a hole in the floor and ran off with $72 million dollars.

($50 million was never recovered, and many team members were never arrested.)

And if all else fails, there’s always the much simpler route. In 2016, a Reddit user hosted an Ask Me Anything where he confessed to getting away with numerous bank robberies before turning himself in to authorities.

His master plan? He’d walk into banks, armed with nothing more than a handwritten note, and ask the teller for all their cash. Afterward, he’d grab something to eat from Chili’s.

In his own words:

Q: What did you say to the teller?

A: Walked in the bank and waited in line like a regular customer. Whichever teller was available to help me is the one I robbed. I simply walked up to them when it was my turn to be helped, and I told them — usually via handwritten instructions on an envelope — to give me their $50s and $100s. There was no threat. I just told them what I wanted, and they complied. This is how it works in America because the amount of money a bank gives up ($5-$7k on average) per bank robbery is infinitely less than the amount of business they’d lose if sh*t got wild in a bank full of customers.

Q: Where did you go after your escape?

A: I usually went to Chili’s or somewhere to eat and chill out.”

Criminal, thief, robber guy with a handgun.

15. Play the lines like an illegal sports gambler.

While most gambling has a reputation for degenerate losers, sports betting holds an interesting subset of big-time “whales” who’ve had so much success in the industry, they’re known to move the odds of a game by themselves.

Some famous gamblers, like Billy Walters, made a name for themselves by being one of the first gamblers to use computer analysis to help his sports predictions. The result was a 30-year winning streak that earned Billy millions of dollars and eventually got him banned from Las Vegas casinos.

Other sports gamblers take a less glamorous approach.

One of the most common strategies is to utilize arbitrage. That is, gamblers will look for less popular games or events and try to find discrepancies in the odds at various casinos.

A minor league baseball game? Perfect. A horse race nobody’s ever heard of before? Even better.

By laying strategically hedged bets at different casinos, a clever gambler can virtually guarantee a profit in certain instances.

Easier said than done, for sure.

Interestingly, this only becomes an illegal side hustle if you’re placing your bets in a state where sports gambling is outlawed.

16. Start Embezzling.

Oh my, does anything signify white-collar crime like a little good old-fashioned embezzlement?

The key factor to embezzlement? Legally, you must have a “fiduciary duty” to the funds you’re stealing. In other words, you’ll really need to up your scumbag levels if you ever want to make it as an embezzler, since you’ll have to be specifically entrusted with the funds you’re stealing. Otherwise, it’s just good old-fashioned theft, and that’s not nearly as fun.

But once you start paying attention, the opportunity for embezzlement is everywhere!

  • Acting as treasurer to your volunteer church group? A good embezzler would surely skim a few bucks off the top for themselves.
  • Running payroll for a large corporation? Consider adding a random friend or family member to start drawing unearned income against the company. Embezzled!
  • Maybe you’re a bank teller or cashier. Instead of recording the sales, you just pocket the money for yourself. Whoops!

In fact, embezzlement in retail is so common that the industry has its own term for it. It’s called “shrinkage” and the average rate is nearly 2% of all retail sales.

Across the industry, that’s nearly $50 billion a year!

(Apparently, gift cards are the number one target for shrinkage, since they’re so easy to put in your pocket and walk away with.)

17. Become a spammer.

Spammers, how we all hate you…

But the unfortunate truth is that spamming just makes a whole lot of business sense. Here’s how it works:

A desperate company is looking for advertising opportunities, which through a trip, a fall, and a subsequent plunge to rock bottom leads them to a cleverly advertised spamming company. For $100, the scammer offers to send an absolutely insane number of emails, usually around 500,000.

While 99.9% of recipients will immediately delete the junk, that still leaves 500 clueless folks accidentally making a purchase. Depending on the price of your Viagra knockoffs or Nigerian prince requests, that can be extremely profitable.

It’s simply a numbers game, and some people really take this to extremes.

Like Oleg Nikolaenko. This Russian National ditched the proverbial middleman (which in the spamming business means the servers upon servers needed to email hundreds of thousands of poor email users) and instead decided to develop malware that infected an estimated 500,000 different computers around the globe.

The result was that by using the resources of his infected computers, this one dude was able to send up to 10 billion spam emails per day. Billion!

It’s estimated this 24-year-old was responsible for 1/3 of the entire world’s spam emails.

One word of advice though. If you’re going to go the spamming route, it really helps to move to a cheaper, second-world country with a super low cost of living. Otherwise, the $100 you’ll get paid to side hustle thousands of emails per day really just doesn’t make sense. The margins are just too low.

(PS – If you can adopt some broken English for your email messages, even better!)

At this point, you might be wondering where these spammers even get the email addresses. Well, that usually comes from some random email list you signed up for years ago, who in desperate times decides to sell your contact info to the gray market.

18. Become a hacker.

Continuing with the theme of cyber-crime, if spamming is too low-brow for you, consider keeping things high class and becoming a hacker instead.

In fact, many hackers actually make a ton of money, legally.

Apple famously offered a $1 million reward to any hacker who could hack the iPhone. And they’re not alone.

Companies all over the world flock to websites like HackerOne, a global conduit where companies like Google, GM, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and even the U.S. Department of Defense offer bounties to honest hackers who can exploit vulnerabilities in exchange for lucrative lump-sum payments before the bad guys find them.

From those companies’ perspectives, it makes a lot more sense to tap into the world’s most talented freelance hackers than it does to try to salary an in-house security expert, who still might not find everything.

From the hackers’ perspective, making a ton of money legally sure beats risking jail time.

But for those hackers unphased by some time in the clinker, things can get even wilder.

One of the most notorious is the Carbanak Hackers. This group of Eastern European hackers used phishing emails to exploit bank vulnerabilities to the tune of an estimated $1 billion dollars.

Some of their favorite techniques sound like something straight out of a movie:

  • Hackers altered bank databases to pump up individual bank accounts, then siphon off the excess cash unbeknownst to the user.
  • They infected point of sale systems to lift credit card information from customers, then either go on unauthorized shopping sprees or sell the card details on the black market.
  • They infected ATM machines with scripts that dispensed all their cash at specific times of day. At the same time, money mules would be waiting nearby, ready to collect the slot machine style shower of dollar bills.

Speaking of the last one. Apparently, there’s an app called Winpot.exe which you can buy on the deep web for around 1 bitcoin (roughly $7,000) that you can install on a USB key, plug into any ATM, and have that ATM immediately dispense all its cash.

19. Start pimpin’.

If you’re interested in getting into the prostitution business, but you’re aspiring for more of a managerial position, then pimping might be a fantastic illegal side hustle for you.

According to a study published by The Urban Institute, the average pimp makes anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 a week.

This job isn’t for the faint of heart though. As all the rap songs have told me, pimpin’ ain’t easy. To keep your business afloat, you’ll have to keep the proverbial pimp hand strong. 

Unfortunately, most pimps rely on psychical and psychological abuse to manage their employees. In his memoir covering four decades in the business, legendary pimp Iceburg Slim explains the intricate psychological abuse he employed while managing up to 400 women at a time. And when all else failed, he recounts beating his employees with wire hangers.

20. Sell your body.

Prostitution is one of the oldest ways to make money illegally, and it’s simple economics. Thanks to a steady stream of demand, you’ll always be in business as long as you’re supplying!

That said, this illegal side hustle pays for its incredible job security with a lack of physical security. Unfortunately, there’s no avoiding close quarters with a wide range of customers, many with questionable backgrounds.

Plus, the front-line nature of this line of work makes you an easy target to get pinched by law enforcement.

That said, how much you make as a prostitute will depend greatly on your marketing skills.

  • The going rate for an average prostitute marketing their services online is about $300 per hour for what people in this line of work refer to as “full service.”
  • On the low end are your average streetwalkers. They’ve been known to accept a job for as little as $20 for half an hour. Or even just a pack of smokes.
  • And then there’s the interesting world of high class escorts. The 2008 Elliot Spitzer scandal shined a spotlight on this segment of the market, after it came out that many politicians, financiers, and wealthy celebrities were ordering prostitutes at the staggering price of $5,500 per hour.

As with any business, marketing is everything!

Final Thoughts

This article was written for entertainment purposes as earlier stated in the disclaimer (in the introduction) with credits to Soopwhoop and MyMoneyWizard.

I would advise that you look for legit ways to make passive income as illegal side hustles and illegal jobs are definitely NOT the best ways to get rich.

Also, there are a shocking number of people who are actually googling about how to get rich quickly illegally or “illegal ways to make money fast” hence this write-up was meant to answer these search queries.

If you submit in any of the above inappropriate ways to amass wealth, there is one thing I’m assuring you – you will be apprehended to spend decades or years behind bars.