words Alexa Wang
In Kraftwerk’s futuristic Computer World, recorded in 1981, crime was mentioned along with travel, communication, and entertainment. As we see in forty years, the German visionaries were correct.
Criminals now take to the Internet “because that’s where the money is.” And if you do your business online, it’s your responsibility to take measures to prevent fraud before you have to deal with the fact. And here’s why.
If someone’s digital identity is stolen (through email hacking, physical card theft, and so on), it may end up bad for either customer or merchant (in fact, for both). A fraudster makes a purchase using stolen credentials. Then one of the two basic options follows:
· The legit owner of the card claims chargeback and gets it. The merchant loses.
· The owner’s claim is not satisfied. The customer loses. The fraud wins anyway… until they are found.
There are various ways of using stolen cards, so the tricks are not discovered immediately by any party. For example, Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store fraud leaves very little time to detect the fraud before the item is picked at the store. Of course, the payment for it turns out to be made with a stolen card. It’s also harder to track details as there is no delivery address. Still, there are ways to detect fraudulent payments almost in real-time, as well as to prevent chargeback abuse.
One of the most popular frauds on the Internet is identity theft. A person may use their email, Facebook account, whatever, not even aware that these accounts can be controlled by somebody else who has a password and can use them for their fraudulent tricks at any moment. Online stores collect data on their customers, which makes them an attractive object for hacker attacks.
As a merchant, you can be compromised if it’s your base that leaked. Reputation is easy to lose and hard to regain. They will try to blame you because it’s you here to make money. So you don’t need a special call to take as much activity to protect your customer data as possible.
What can you do to prevent that? Use methods of detecting whether the customer’s identity has been stolen in real-time. The most prominent of these is device fingerprinting, analyzing technical details of payment and data provided and comparing them to data about related payments (for example, made with the same credit card).
What if it’s your face that’s stolen? That’s how phishing works: a fraud pretends to be someone well known and respected, so users readily give them their emails, logins, and passwords. After that, it’s simple to enter their cabinets and control their money. It can even be automated.
What can an online merchant do to prevent that? Well, the first thing is to keep the customers informed. If it happens that you are the first to detect fraud attempts, send alerts throughout your customer base and warn them how to tell your real pages and apps from imitations. Unluckily, the customers often run into fraud first. So, monitor their feedback seriously. Even if they unjustly blame you, take their complaints seriously and react without extra emotionality. It’s for your information, first of all.
Preventing Fraud: More Necessary Than Ever
It’s COVID-19 that transferred even more of the world’s commerce to the Internet, which resulted in more fraud. So, every merchant now is responsible not only for their own safety but for that of their customers as well. Connecting anti-fraud systems for payments and data storage is affordable and makes sense when compared to financial and reputational losses resulting from crimes.