For many, E-commerce is the way to shop these days. Some so many people have started buying products such as gadgets or clothes exclusively online. Of course, being able to get everything you want right at your doorstep with only a few clicks is very convenient. However, you should never stop being cautious when you buy products online as you are using your sensitive personal and banking information, which might make you subject to fraud or data theft. Here are five of the most common eCommerce scams and a few tips on how to avoid them.
1. Phishing Emails
More than 30% of malicious attacks carried out online involve email phishing. This is one of the oldest internet scams, but it seems to be here to stay. Phishing emails are still making victims because scammers are becoming more and more cunning and tech-savvy. They manage to craft attractive emails that look 100% authentic as if they were sent from a real company that’s selling products online.
There are many variations of email phishing scams. Some of these emails that are allegedly sent by famous online stores look like order confirmations. The ‘company’ is saying a surprise or gift order is waiting for you, or it simply sends a confirmation for an order you haven’t made. To get the products, you are asked to provide your personal information, and this is actually the goal of the scammers, to acquire personal data they can later use for fraud or impersonation.
2. Triangulation eCommerce Fraud
These frauds take a bit more effort buts con artists manage to make them worth it. Triangulation fraud involves three parties – an eCommerce website, the victim, and the scammer. The latter builds a website where they advertise products at incredibly low prices. Naturally, people are lured in by those tempting offers. They start creating accounts on the website to be able to purchase the products. Obviously, by doing this, they offer scammers their bank account numbers and personal data. This is all scammers need to use that information to make the respective purchases using clients’ bank accounts from a legit business.
As a general rule, to avoid this scam, only shop online from reputable eCommerce websites.
3. Account Takeover
There are different ways in which fraudsters can take over a user’s account. For example, they can send an email that seems to come from a famous eCommerce website. Once the user clicks on a link included in the body of that email, they unknowingly download a piece of malware software. This program manages to hack a person’s account to access that eCommerce website and get their credentials. Equipped with a password and username, the scammer can buy whatever they want to from that website.
4. Card Testing
This is one of the oldest scams that started to proliferate as more and more businesses began selling their products online. This scheme aims to defraud eCommerce websites. Scammers who rely on this tactic test various platforms by making small purchases using bots that experiment with different card numbers.
After they see that a card number is valid, they can further use it to make other, usually more expensive purchases.
5. Refund Frauds
These are other old tricks that are hard to spot until it is too late and that target online stores. What fraudsters do in this case is that they make a purchase using a stolen credit card. Afterward, they are asking for reimbursement as they claim they’ve made an accidental overpayment. The shop will want to proceed with the reimbursement and find out that the client’s request is to send the money to a different account as the previous card was closed. If you are running a business that sells products online. Watch out for these requests.
When online sales are growing, so are the potential threats related to online scams and cyberattacks. Be careful whenever you purchase products from a new website and remember the common scams listed above. Moreover, to stay safe, the best way is to make purchases online only from reputable platforms and, ideally, use a credit instead of a debit card.
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