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Frauds in online payments explained

Simple tips to avoid frauds

A study conducted by the Center for Strategy and International Studies (CSIS) & McAfee show that online fraud is equivalent to 0.8% of the world’s GDP. Most importantly, payment frauds form a major part of this figure.

Online payment frauds connote the illegal transaction by fraudulently acquiring the customer’s credentials. For example, it takes the form of credit/debit card fraud, data theft, friendly fraud, phishing, etc. Incidentally, the advance of technology has advanced the fraud involved as well. Also, fraudsters have devised complex techniques to come out with sophisticated frauds which are very difficult to detect.

Online payment frauds
Some time tested techniques to handle online frauds
Learn the simple tips for combating online payment frauds

In this blog, I will take you through some simple yet time-tested methods to tackle online payment frauds. As they say, prevention is always better than cure.

1. Data Theft frauds

This most common mode of online payment fraud involves stealing digital information of customers like banking account details, credit/debit card information, PIN, etc. For example, in 2017, 1 in 15 people had their identities stolen. Subsequently, the hacking of the credential holder’s account takes place with the stolen data. Further, data theft is also a result of employee negligence in handling an organization’s data. 

Data theft prevention techniques:

  • Regular malware check on the computer system.
  • Use of debit/credit card with pin-chip technology.
  • Frequent change of password every 1-2 months.
  • Regular installation of updated software on systems.
  • Ensuring a secure and protected wifi connection.
  • Do not respond to unauthorized and spam emails.

2. Phishing frauds

In Phishing, hackers camouflage as financial institutions and contact the target victims. In doing so, the various adopted modes are email, telephone, text, etc. For example, the potential target luring happens with fake offers, false email links, attachments and emails from unknown senders. Further, studies show that phishing accounts for 90% of all the data breaches.

Phishing frauds prevention techniques:

  • Use of email filters.
  • Change in browser settings. Do not autosave passwords for payment sites.
  • Timely fraud report to banks to ensure speedy action cum monitoring.
  • Keep a track of URL of links in an email. It is a potent outlet to fraudulent sites that steal user data.

3. Friendly fraud

Friendly fraud is one of the toughest fraud to detect. Herein, a customer makes an online payment and then disputes the purchase by contacting the credit card issuer. Going ahead, the fraudster is refunded while the fraud continues on different payment platforms. Studies show that friendly fraud increases at a rate of 41% every two years. It is on the rise due to the increasing presence of e-commerce companies. Moreover, it is very challenging to detect friendly fraud due to the favoring of customers by credit card companies.

Nevertheless, an estimate of friendly fraud is made by observing a larger than usual average transaction. Also, a high frequency of order coupled with a high amount of stolen orders suggests the presence of friendly fraud.

Friendly fraud prevention techniques:

  • Call recording to verify the veracity of the order.
  • Saving the product delivery information by confirming the signature verification.
  • Blacklisting of suspicious, fraudulent customers.
  • Building cordial relations with customers to maintain a positive brand image.
  • Interconnectivity with online payment peers to obtain updated information about fraudulent customers.

4. Triangulation fraud

This fraud primarily involves three parties involved in a transaction. Firstly, a customer places an order with an e-commerce site. Secondly, the e-commerce site is a fraudulent seller which takes the order and reorders on another website using stolen payment credentials. Lastly, the legitimate e-commerce website unsuspectingly processes the fraudulent order. For example, triangulation fraud is common in the trade of electronics appliances, pet supplies, tools, etc.

Triangulation fraud prevention techniques:

  • Keep a track of repeated product selling behavior of the retailer.
  • Connect with triangulation fraud victims to ascertain the fraud strategy
  • Be in touch with auctions/marketplaces that are known to host fraudulent sellers.

5. Refund fraud

Refund fraud occurs in a situation wherein a customer engages in the frequent return of ineligible items without any concrete reasons. For example, stolen or damaged goods are frequently returned. It often results in e-commerce sites hiking prices to recover the loss due to fraudulent returns.

Refund fraud prevention techniques:

  • Flagging customers resorting to frequent returns.
  • Stricter return policies like discouraging returns without a valid receipt.
  • Serial numbers on goods for verification.

On the whole, payment frauds are an inevitable part of transactions in a digital era. However, the tips and tricks mentioned above can be used to reduce it considerably, if not eliminate it. In addition, be well prepared for any unforeseen scenarios during online payments. Always, keep in touch with the concerned banking and regulatory authorities to safeguard your business and buyings.

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