E-Commerce Fraud Is On The Rise


E-Commerce fraud has been steadily rising and is expected to continue to rise in the years to come. Data shows that fraud is increasingly becoming a concern, one example being reports from the FBI.

One of the more shocking fraud reports that the FBI has released involves BEC or business email scams. In 2018 the FBI reported that there was over 12 billions dollars in losses to business email fraud alone.

As a consumer, you should be worried. Business fraud prevention should be the number one thing on your mind as we enter into 2019. E-commerce frauds are sadly a bi-product of identity thefts and have cost online retailers as well as customers dearly.  

Additional types of fraud that are continuing to be on the rise.

Phone Scams – Phone scams continue to be on the rise. In 2018, First Orion reported that based on scam trends, almost half of all phone calls will be scams in 2019 (an educated estimate).  

If this is the case, you need to be cautious on who you are answering the phone for. If you want to know who is calling you, you can always perform a reverse phone lookup through National Cellular Directory.

Billing Fraud – Billing fraud occurs when someone fraudulently  demands currency from an individual or a firm. When this happens, the person who is demanding the money or other form of currency makes an invoice without giving proof of the obligation to pay.

How to determine the authenticity of a website.

Spotting a fake website isn’t as easy as it used to be. Scammers are employing new and improved techniques to trick people and these techniques seem to be working well. Here are a few signs to check to identify if the website is authentic or not.  

Check the SSL Certification – Ensure whether there is a small green padlock beside the URL. If the site isn’t secure, the chances of being the victim of a fraud increase greatly.  

Verify the contact information – If you feel that the site may not be legitimate, you can run a quick search on National Cellular Directory with a contact number or name and get a detailed report on that information.

Check for typos and grammatical errors – Legitimate businesses avoid typos and grammatical errors at all costs, and if there are one too many mistakes on the site, there may be foul play involved.

Are the prices too good to be true? – Everything that glitters isn’t gold, and if the prices are too low, then the chances of the site being a scam are too high.  

How website owners are protecting themselves from fraud.

Many website owners are now turning to a 3rd party vendor for additional security. The transactions are mostly being via an established 3rd party financial institution like PayPal, and Cloud security providers are being utilized to improve protection against DDoS attacks.  

Business owners are also validating customer data with the help of CVV and AVS as well as verifying it against external databases like the National Cellular Directory to ensure that the information provided by the customer matches the actual information. A National cellular directory report contains the full name, addresses, any unlisted contact numbers as well as a lot of other things.  

By employing these techniques, business owners are protecting themselves against being the victim of a fraud saving themselves a good chunk of money in the process.  

How to protect yourself from being scammed.

1. Limit the amount of data you share.  

As you may have noticed, many sites you visit will ask for your personal data to serve you better ads. However, whenever possible avoid sharing any kind of personal data at all. If you have to put in an email somewhere, then use a temporary email address which can be found on sites like Temp-Mail

2. Don’t overshare on social media.

Scammers use the trails of breadcrumbs you leave all over your social media to target you, try to avoid sharing any information which may be useful for scammers and audit your social media regularly to safeguard yourself.

3. Use popular and trusted websites.

A good standard practice would be to only use websites that are well known like Amazon to purchase goods and services. A Trusted website should always have a HTTPS layer enabled for extra protection and security.  

4. Change your login credentials frequently.

Changing your login credentials frequently reduces the risk of identity theft and helps you safeguard your online identity. You should change your password once every 6 months and keep your profiles updated with the most recent email address and contact number.  

5. Use two-factor authentication.

Two- factor authentication uses a second layer of authentication like a code sent to your email or phone to ensure that it is indeed the real you and not a scammer trying to scam their way into your account.

6. Contact the bank immediately in case of a breach.

If you believe your card has been compromised, don’t wait around. Call your bank immediately and let them know about it. This will help you recover your lost money as well as help the bank identify new IPs and addresses scammers may have been using. Informing the bank also lets you cancel the card and save your account from further misuse.  

Final Thoughts.

We hope this informative piece helps you save yourself from being the victim of a fraud. As a customer, ensure that you don’t fall for anything that seems too good to be true. As a Business Owner, ensure you always stay up to date with the latest security trends and always keep your framework and platforms updated to protect yourself as well as your customers from being scammed. Do let us know how this article helped you below in the comments.  

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