What is Fraud? How to prevent it?

Teknologiia - What is Fraud? International Fraud Awareness Week

What fraud is, how does it happen, and what are the best fraud prevention tools? 

Online businesses are becoming increasingly vulnerable to security breaches, and there has been an alarming increase in e-commerce fraud incidents. 

According to a trusted fraud report by Consumer Affairs, identity theft alone will amount to $1.48 billion in losses by 2018. The numbers continue to rise rapidly. 

Although the advent of Internet access has helped revolutionize the e-commerce business sector by turning the entire world into a single global market, it has also opened a wormhole. In the past few years, online fraud has increased dramatically, resulting in massive losses for merchants and buyers. 

But wait! 

What if you could buy or sell online without fear of falling victim to fraud? Although the Internet has made scams easy, it has also provided many tools that protect you from scammers. 

But the point of concern is, what can you do to be safe when shopping or selling online? 

In this article, we will look at what fraud is, how and why it happens, different types of scams, and the tools and prevention strategies you can use to stay safe. 

1-How and why does fraud happen? 

One of the first steps to protecting yourself from an e-commerce scam is understanding how and why it happens. However, before we get to that, let’s first look at what fraud is. 

2-What is fraud? 

In simple terms, fraud is a deliberate act of deception by providing false or misleading information done to gain an unfair advantage or profit. In the e-commerce industry, to be concise, the unfair profit can be in the form of: 

  • Money 
  • Goods and Services 
  • Sensitive information – such as personally identifiable information, credit card details, bank details, emails, passwords, etc. 

With the e-commerce sector operating on an infrastructure that supports critical transactions; Money, goods, and sensitive personal information, cybercriminals have found it a hunting ground for unsuspecting victims. The fraud case is so discouraging because it almost happens. 

Behind screens, cybercriminals use convincing tricks, usually targeting the most vulnerable victims. 

 

3-Types of fraud 

Aside from knowing why and how e-commerce fraud occurs, it is also crucial to understand the different types of fraud to protect yourself from some of them. Online scams come in distinct forms and are very different from the usual scams that hit hard physical stores.  

E-commerce scams are even sadder. Here is a quick look at some of the most crucial scams that you can encounter, especially while making e-commerce related transactions: 

  • Prepaid Fee Fraud 
  • Fraudulent item that looks like an antivirus 
  • Charity fraud 
  • Emergency Fraud 
  • Recruitment fraud 
  • blackmail 
  • fake check scam 
  • Emergency Fraud/Grandparent Fraud 
  • identity theft 
  • Immigration fraud 
  • Fraud by buying online 
  • Sweepstakes/Prize Scam 
  • Fraud by generating money 
  • military forces 
  • Mystery Shopping Scam 
  • Fraud by making an overpayment 
  • Phishing 
  • Fraud through relationships 
  • Fraud through rental property 
  • Social media fraud 
  • SMS Phishing 
  • tax fraud 
  • Telemarketing 

 

4-How to detect fraud? What can you do to protect yourself? 

Be aware, when you are dealing with intrusive communications by business persons or interests, whether it is by phone, mail, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the communication is a scam. 

  • Know who you are dealing with. 
  • Do not open texts, windows or suspicious emails – cancel them. 
  • Keep your personal details securely. 
  • Keep your phone and computer devices safe. 
  • Carefully choose your passwords. 
  • Review your privacy and security arrangements on social media. 
  • Beware of any requests for your details or money. 
  • Be careful when you shop online. 

 

5- What is anti-fraud system? Or what software is used for fraud detection? 
Protect Your Computer 

With cyber-attacks on the rise, it’s more important than ever to install antivirus software on your computer or network. Equally important is ensuring you are regularly running and updating this software to prevent viruses from infecting your computer. In addition, installing and enabling the following software programs will help you combat malicious cyber activity: 

  • Anti-spam software: Helps prevent spam and junk email from entering your inbox, which helps guard against phishing emails 
  • Firewall: Helps prevent unauthorized access to your computer through viruses and malware 
  • Anti-spyware software: Blocks the installation of spyware on your computer, which can monitor or control your computer use and send you pop-ups or redirect you to malicious websites 

Keep your computer operating system and Internet browser current; this provides additional protection against fraud and theft. 

 

Source: Teknologiia team

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