Online fraud and identity theft has been on the rise and will continue to rise in the next several years.
One of the more shocking fraud reports of e-commerce fraud by Experian found that online shopping fraud grew approximately 30% in the year 2017.
As a buyer, you ought to be concerned. Protecting yourself from fraudulent activity ought to be the main thing at the forefront of your thoughts as we go into 2019. Internet business fraud has unfortunately cost online retailers billions of dollars.
Additional types of fraud that are continuing to be on the rise
Phone Scams – In 2018, First Orion made a prediction based on previous phone scam reports that approximately 50% of all telephone calls will be scams in 2019.
If so, you should be careful with your identity and who you are picking up the telephone for. In the event that you need to find out who is calling you, you can look up the phone number through National Cellular Directory’s online phone directory.
Billing Fraud – This type of fraud happens when someone fraudulently demands money or another type of currency from a person or even a firm. The person who is requesting payment usually makes an invoice with no proof of the victims obligation to pay.
Verifying a website’s authenticity
It’s much harder now than it used to be to verify whether a website is safe or dangerous. Unfortunately, scammers can be quite tech-savvy. Everyday’s an opportunity for them to develop new ways to fool online buyers.
Here are some ways to help determine if the website you are browsing is safe or not:
Look for SSL Certification – Check to see if a small green padlock is pictured next to the URL of the website in the search bar. This is an excellent way to check if a site is secure. If the website isn’t a secure site, increases the chances of fraud.
Verify the information found on the website’s contact us page – If you want to verify the website’s context information, simply perform an easy search on National Cellular Directory by looking up the website’s phone number, name of the business owner and even their physical address. You can look up any of that information to receive a comprehensive report that will help you verify the website’s authenticity.
Be on the lookout for any major grammatical errors – Well-established businesses will build a professional website, leaving grammatical errors behind. If there are several sentences that are improperly structured or words that aren’t spelled right, the website may not be safe for you to browse and/or purchase on.
Are their prices too cheap? – If the prices are way below market value, you may want to rethink purchasing from that website. You also want to be careful of merchandise that is very cheap or free as long as you pay for shipping- which some people may not find out is high in price until after they buy the item and get the receipt. You could end up paying more for shipping than the item is worth.
How website owners are protecting themselves from fraud
Some websites are now using a 3rd party vendor to provide additional payment security.
The payments are mostly completed using a 3rd party vendor such as PayPal, and cloud security providers are also being used for additional protection against DDoS attacks.
Using these simple techniques help any online business owner protecting themselves and their customers against fraudulent activity.
How you can protect yourself from scams
It’s pretty standard for websites to ask for your personal information so that they can provide you with relevant ads. Please don’t provide any personal data when using a website unless absolutely necessary.
Even if you do have to provide your information, there are still ways to protect your privacy. For example, if you have provide an email address to create an account, you can use a temporary email address. All you need to do is use a site like Temp-Mail which provides you with one.
Scammers can follow your digital footprint and save little pieces of information that you share on your social media channels. Try sharing as little as possible and only allow your friends on social media to see what you post (this can be done in your settings)
3. Use a well-known website
If you want to really be safe, using a big website to purchase your goods such as Target or Amazon will ensure your financial safety. These large retailers usually have a HTTPS layer enabled that gives another dose of security to their customers.
4. Change your password often
Changing your password often cuts the risk of someone stealing your identity. A good ruler of thumb is to update your password on every website at least every 6 months. Additionally, don’t use the same password for every website.
5. Use two-factor authentication
Two- factor authentication is precisely what it sounds like- you use another form of authentication such as a text message sent to your phone to verify that the user is you and not a stranger working their way into your personal accounts.
6. If you think your personal information has been breached…
Don’t wait a moment. If you think that your information had been stolen, call your bank as fast as you can pick up your phone. Doing this will assist you and your bank in finding the scammers and getting back your money. You can also cancel your account so that your bank cards cannot be used.
We hope that our article was helpful in some way to help fraud prevention.
Make sure that you are careful when exploring the internet and giving out your personal data.
Additionally, if you own an online business, or run part of your business online, make a point to stay up-to-date with security trends and new security tools to keep your website safe.
Please comment and let us know how you liked the article and if you have any added thoughts or feedback.
Author Bio: Holly Marsh, Journalist at National Cellular Directory.