Security & Fraud

E-commerce Fraud Increased 33% in 2020

Drilling down further, online shopping fraud rose dramatically last year in these two categories:

  • Shipping fraud occurs when a criminal uses their address for the delivery of stolen goods purchased online. Rates of shipping fraud increased 32% in 2020 vs. 2019. From a regional perspective, the Western U.S. saw a nearly 60% increase in attack rates for shipping fraud.
  • Billing fraud occurs when the victim’s address is tied to the payment account used to purchase the stolen goods; those rates increased 36%. The North Central region saw a 55% increase in attack rates for billing fraud.

How Can I Spot a Fake Website?

Trying to determine whether a site is fake or not can be tricky these days as scammers have become really good at creating branded websites and URLs that look nearly identical to the real thing.

Finding the location of an IP address can be even trickier for most. If your gut feeling is making you unsure whether a site is legitimate or not, here are a few tips to keep in mind to spot a fake website:

  • Look at the domain name to see if it is the site that you wanted to go to or different domain name.
  • Check the contact page to find the name of the owner and use a lookup service on the URL to find additional information about the site.
  • Google the site and owner to check what the search results say. You can also visit Google’s Transparency Report to find out the safety rating.
  • Find reviews of the site or owner of the business from other users to read what they said.
  • Is HTTPS supported? Make sure the website is HTTPS supported and secure if you decide to make a purchase.
  • Are there typos and grammar mistakes on the site? If so, that could be a sign that the site is not on the up and up.
  • Are the prices really low? If so, compare those prices to others sites. If it is still much lower that could be a bad sign that it is a scam.

How Can I Protect Myself From Online Fraud?

Criminals are becoming incredibly sophisticated with the method of fraud attacks and it can make us all feel helpless. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when making decisions about protecting yourself from online fraud:

  • Call Your Bank Immediately: If any of your financial information may have been breached, call immediately so you can cancel a credit card or change your password. If your bank account numbers were caught up in a breach, close that account and open a new one.
  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication: Adjust your account setting so that a one-time passcode via SMS messaging is sent to your mobile device. While the additional login step takes a few extra seconds it can help to protect your personal information and money.
  • Perform a Dark Web Scan: See if your name or information is for sale on the dark web marketplaces

E-commerce fraud is a clue that other types of fraud have already taken place. Usually, it is a result of a larger data breach that creates a trickle down of criminal activity. Whether a credit card has been stolen or personal credentials have been compromised, fraudsters will go to great lengths to implement complex fraud schemes that can cost people and companies millions of dollars in fraud losses.