Internet fraud is an act to make money from consumers or merchants without actually providing the goods or services. There are some measures which must be taken into consideration so as to prevent being victimized by this illegal activity.
Internet frauds are generally another kind of fraud crimes which particularly use features of the Internet to intentionally commit fraudulent transactions from unsuspecting Internet users in an objective to steal money. Chat rooms, forum sites, e-mails and websites are the most common tools used by these criminals in performing their greedy acts. Because of the power of the Internet, these fraudulent acts can be easily transmitted in any part of the world. Millions of people can be potentially vulnerable to these crimes, whether an individual consumer or large companies of investors.
With the introduction of e-commerce as means to offer goods and services to consumers, these cyber criminals do their best to depict similar offers of legal merchants in order to make easy money from innocent people without actually providing the goods and services they promised. Because of these circumstances, it had greatly damaged the reputation of legitimate companies causing them a decrease on sales and at worst, leading to loss of millions of dollars.
Credit Card Fraud
Since a large number of percentages of consumers around the world use credit card as a convenient way of shopping or purchasing goods through the Internet, it had become a target for credit card fraud. This type of fraud was considered the number one setback in e-commerce business.
Credit card fraud is done by criminals by sending e-mail messages to unsuspecting victims requesting them to update their credit card information by directing them to the website which will then ask for their sensitive personal information including credit card number, passwords and billing address. Once the information is gathered by these criminals, they will be using the credit card to purchase goods definitely charged to the victim.
Because of technological advancement, cyber criminals have become more clever and advanced in doing their illegal activities. Even the biggest e-commerce merchants who have the most sophisticated anti- credit card fraud prevention system cannot manage to totally secure their businesses from these criminals.
There are some ways in which you can prevent the risk of being victimized by this fraud. As a consumer, never provide personal information to unsolicited e-mail messages asking you to do so. Also, never share your credit card information to any website which includes chat rooms, forums and e-commerce merchants without confirming the legitimacy of their company.
Today, there are numerous legitimate travel agency websites offering big discounts or great deal packages for travelers. Many travelers avail of such services for convenience. But again, these services attracted unlawful individuals as means to collect money from consumers. They would create fake travel agency sites and deploy various advertisements, offering very attractive cheap travel packages to allure unsuspecting victims. These sites mostly collect advance payments from travelers and then afterwards run away with the victim’s money.
The usual marketing strategy of these sites is to send e-mails to as many people as possible and directing them to a website containing the travel packages they offer.
In order to prevent you from being a victim of this fraud, it is important to ignore e-mail messages of travel agencies offering very cheap travel packages. As much as possible, do not respond to these e-mails as this will only prove to the criminals that you have an active account and later on you will be receiving spam mails.
In addition, investigate on the identity of the travel agency offering these deals. Gather enough information and try to inquire on other local travel agents. Never allow yourself to grab those too-good-to-be-true travel deals.
As a general rule, to avoid being victimized of these Internet frauds, you must be aware that these cyber criminals can easily create professional looking websites and post goods or services that are a lot cheaper than other companies in order to attract their prospect victims.
Legitimate merchants usually include information about their company and provide specific contact details which you can use to confirm that they are not bogus. Also, these companies do not solicit very detailed bank or credit card information such as your password or PIN. They also offer a secure way of online purchasing transaction and usually bear the VeriSign logo.
At Investigation Counsel PC we are familiar with investigating and litigating many forms of consumer fraud. But what does it actually mean? This animation explains these scams and what victims should know.
A collaboration between Canadian Fraud News Inc. and Investigation Counsel PC:
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