Avoiding Online Fraud

Avoiding online fraud does not come easy, but it’s possible, and you can make your transactions safe by making smart choices. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Read the terms of service and privacy policy of any and all websites you deal with.
  • Look at the website’s rating by the Better Business Bureau.
  • Do not purchase something unless it is stated in the terms and conditions.
  • Monitor all your online accounts, and clear your cookies.
  • Watch out for phishing scams, where scammers try to obtain your personal information using targeted emails.
  • Use strong and unique passwords, don’t share your passwords with other people and don’t save usernames and passwords in your browser.
  • Enable two-factor authentication for your online accounts.
  • Don’t make “buy now” or “pay now” purchases.

The Chargeback Scam

In this fraud, hackers and scammers send numerous chargeback requests. For example, you will receive an email, claiming that your bank account was hacked and asking you to contact them in order to resolve the issue. However, most of the time, these emails are faked. This is because the email address could be fake or be in fact from the scammer.

This is how it works. The hacker will use the victim’s email address to create a fake chargeback request on the bank’s website and their demand will always be a certain amount of money. In this case, the demand for money comes without proper instructions.

As an example, the amount demanded could be Rs 5,000 or more. The hackers use various emails to create the demand.

What is a chargeback?

A chargeback is when a cardholder sends an e-mail to an online retailer requesting that the company issue a refund or some form of reimbursement for a previously received product. They are usually associated with credit cards or shopping websites, such as Amazon.

An Amazon chargeback is essentially a request by an Amazon cardholder that the online retailer issue a credit to the cardholder after an online purchase. This provides a form of credit to cardholders that aren’t covered by the banks in the event that a product is returned. This means that the person who bought it can walk away with the credit because they didn’t have to pay. This is also a form of protection against fraudulent and illegally obtained credit.

Tips to Avoiding the Scam

1. Determine if the ‘scam’ is legitimate:

The best way to verify if a solicitation is legitimate is to take time to do some research, and it’s wise to do more research before you respond to a solicitation. Typically, if a site is unsuspicious, another site will have a banner ad promoting the same opportunity. You can always get a few different opinions by asking friends, coworkers, neighbors and family members.

In addition to some research, the Better Business Bureau is a good source for consumer protection information and you can check to see if the site is legitimate by going to bbb.org.

2. Ensure that you understand the terms of the agreement:

When you are contacted by an organization that you don’t know and the terms of the offer are unclear, it is a big red flag.

Where to Report the Scam

By the end of 2018, it is expected that the bad guys may have made more than $100 Billion dollars through scams like Chargebacks and Fake receipts. It is therefore very important that the public be aware of this scam and take appropriate steps to protect themselves from this global problem.

Chargeback Scam Facts:

Most chargesback scams are perpetrated on unsuspecting consumers by impostors impersonating legitimate companies.

The Chargeback Scam is not limited to a particular area of business.

In some cases, scammers may be attempting to steal account numbers or sensitive information that can be used to commit identity theft.

Conclusion

These steps have been taken to help the victims of this global fraud. However, now the companies need to work in collaboration with the government to ensure that all fraudulent transactions are traced and punished, without fail.

Expanding the membership base of all T&C (Targeted Anti-Fraud) compliant firms that offer professional anti-fraud services will go a long way in addressing the increasing frequency of online frauds and create a safer online environment.