Internet Auction Fraud

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 9:26 AM

ebayAn online auction is an auction which is held over the internet. Online auctions come in many different formats, but most popularly they are ascending English auctions, descending Dutch auctions, first-price sealed-bid, Vickrey auctions, or sometimes even a combination of multiple auctions, taking elements of one and forging them with another. The scope and reach of these auctions have been propelled by the Internet to a level beyond what the initial purveyors had anticipated. This is mainly because online auctions break down and remove the physical limitations of traditional auctions such as geography, presence, time, space, and a small target audience.

Online auctions have become big business, with millions of items for sale at any given time. (5 million+ at eBay alone, right now.) Tens of thousands of people around the world currently make a full-time living selling items through Internet auction houses.

One reason for their incredible growth and popularity is that they make it easy for people to find great deals on hard to find items from around the world. The excitement also makes them prime hunting grounds for scam artists, ready to play on the desire many auction bidders have for that “unbelievable deal.”

We want to mention right off the bat that the vast majority of sellers and buyers at online auctions are honest people, and deliver on their promises. According to eBay, only one auction in 40,000 on their site ends with a reported case of confirmed fraud.

 

Tips for Avoiding Internet Auction Fraud:

  • Understand as much as possible about how the auction works, what your obligations are as a buyer, and what the seller’s obligations are before you bid.

  • Find out what actions the website/company takes if a problem occurs and consider insuring the transaction and shipment.

  • Learn as much as possible about the seller, especially if the only information you have is an e-mail address. If it is a business, check the Better Business Bureau where the seller/business is located.

  • Examine the feedback on the seller.

  • Determine what method of payment the seller is asking from the buyer and where he/she is asking to send payment.

  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.

  • Be cautious when dealing with sellers outside the United States. If a problem occurs with the auction transaction, it could be much more difficult to rectify.

  • Ask the seller about when delivery can be expected and whether the merchandise is covered by a warranty or can be exchanged if there is a problem.

  • Make sure there are no unexpected costs, including whether shipping and handling is included in the auction price.

  • There should be no reason to give out your social security number or driver’s license number to the seller.

 

Credit Card Fraud

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 9:15 AM

Credit Cards: American Express, Visa, MasterCardMastercard misrepresentation is a boundless term for robbery and extortion conferred utilizing or including an credit card, for example, a charge card or platinum card, as a fake wellspring of stores in an exchange. The reason may be to acquire products without paying, or to get unapproved stores from a record. Charge card extortion is additionally a subordinate to data fraud. During the previous couple of years, it saw a 21 percent expansion. On the other hand, Mastercard misrepresentation, that wrongdoing which the vast majority partner with ID robbery, diminished as a rate of all ID burglary grievances for the 6th year in succession.

In spite of the fact that rate of Visa misrepresentation is constrained to around 0.1% of all card exchanges, this has brought about enormous money related misfortunes as the false exchanges have been expansive worth exchanges. Out of 12 billion exchanges made yearly, pretty nearly 10 million - or one out of each 1200 exchanges - ended up being false. Additionally, 0.04% (4 out of each 10,000) of all month to month dynamic records were fake. Indeed, even with huge volume and quality increment in charge card exchanges from that point forward, these extents have finished what had been started or have diminished because of complex extortion discovery and anticipation frameworks. Today's misrepresentation identification frameworks are intended to keep one twelfth of one percent of all exchanges prepared which still deciphers into billions of dollars in misfortunes.

Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud:

  • Don’t give out your credit card number online unless the site is a secure and reputable. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but provides some assurance.

  • Don’t trust a site just because it claims to be secure.

  • Before using the site, check out the security/encryption software it uses.

  • Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source.

  • Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.

  • Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.

  • Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.

  • Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.

  • Check out other websites regarding this person/company.

  • Don’t judge a person or company by their website. Flashy websites can be set up quickly.

  • Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.

  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.

  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.

  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card number.

  • Keep a list of all your credit cards and account information along with the card issuer’s contact information. If anything looks suspicious or you lose your credit card(s), contact the card issuer immediately.

 

Non-Delivery of Merchandise

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 9:02 AM

FedEx (Federal Express) vanThe non-delivery scam occurs when the scammer places an item up for sale when there is actually no item at all. The item is subsequently never delivered to the buyer after they purchase the item.

Tips for Avoiding Non-Delivery of Merchandise:

  • Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source.

  • Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.

  • Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.

  • Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.

  • Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.

  • Check out other websites regarding this person/company.

  • Don’t judge a person or company by their website. Flashy websites can be set up quickly.

  • Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.

  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.

  • Inquire about returns and warranties.

  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.

  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card numbers.

  • Consider using an escrow or alternate payment service.

 

Service Scams

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 8:45 AM

Comic: It is 'Common-Wealth'. I am just taking my share.Many people are being targeted by individuals claiming to offer reduced rates or deals for various services.

These scams typically involve individuals that make offers for telecommunications, Internet, finance, medical and energy services. This category of scams may also include offers such as extended warranties, insurance, and door-to-door sales.

The two most reported service scams targeting peoples are the antivirus software scam andcredit card interest rate reduction scams.

The scammers involved in the antivirus software scam promise to repair your computer over the Internet. This can involve the installation of software or permission to have remote access to your computer. Payment for the software or repair is typically made by credit card.

Downloading software from an unknown source or allowing someone to remotely access your computer is risky. Scammers could use malicious software to capture your personal information such as user names and passwords, bank account information, identity information, etc.

Everyone likes to get a deal and scammers know this. The people behind credit card interest rate reduction scams often impersonate financial institutions and claim to negotiate with credit card companies to lower your interest rates. They guarantee they can save you thousands of dollars in interest. The caller will tell you that the lower interest rates are for a limited time only and that you need to act now. 

You might receive an automated call, prompting you to "press 1" and provide personal information, such as your date of birth and credit card number. You will also be asked to pay a fee up front for the service. The scammers will use this information to make purchases on your credit card or to access cash advances.

Protect yourself:

  • Only your service provider can offer you a better rate or price for their services.

  • Be wary of unsolicited calls from people offering a great deal "for a limited time only".

  • Don’t give out your credit card number over the phone unless you made the call and the number came from a trusted source.

  • If a caller claims to represent your bank, telephone your bank to ask whether the offer you received is genuine.

  • Ask yourself if you are putting yourself at risk if you are offering up this information

 

Small Business Scams

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 8:38 AM

Bank statementScams that target small businesses can come in a variety of forms - from bills for advertising or directory listings that were never ordered to dubious office supply offers.

Small business operators and individuals with their own Internet sites continue to be confused and caught by unsolicited letters warning them that their Internet domain name is due to expire and must be renewed, or offering them a new domain name similar to their current one.

If you have registered a domain name, be sure to carefully check any domain name renewal notices or invoices that you receive. While the notice could be genuine, it could also be from another company trying to sign you up, or it could be from a scammer.

  • Check that the renewal notice matches your current domain name exactly. Look out for small differences - for example, ".com" instead of ".ca" or missing letters in the URL address.

  • Check that the renewal notice comes from the company with which you originally registered your domain name.

  • Check your records for the actual expiry date for your existing domain name.

A directory listing or unauthorized advertising scam tries to bill a business for a listing or advertisement in a magazine, journal or business directory, or for an online directory listing.

The scam might come as a proposal for a subscription disguised as an update of an existing listing in a business directory. You might also be led to believe that you are responding to an offer for a free listing when in fact it is an order for a listing requiring later payment.

Another common approach used by scammers is to call a firm asking to confirm details of an advertisement that they claim has already been booked. The scammer might quote a genuine entry or advertisement your business has had in a different publication or directory to convince you that you really did use the scammer’s product.

Be wary of order forms offering advertising opportunities in business directories. These order forms may look like they originate from a well-known supplier of directory advertising, when they don’t. 

An office supply scam involves you receiving and being charged for goods that you did not order. These scams often involve goods or services that you regularly order - for example, paper, printing supplies, maintenance supplies or advertising.

You might receive a phone call from someone falsely claiming to be your "regular supplier", telling you that the offer is a "special" or "available for a limited time", or pretending to only confirm your address or existing order. If you agree to buy any of the supplies offered to you, they will often be overpriced and of bad quality.

Protect yourself:

  • Make sure that the people processing the invoices or answering telephone calls are aware of these scams. They will most often be the point of contact for the scammers. Always check that goods or services were both ordered and delivered before paying an invoice.

  • Never give out or update any information about your business unless you know what the information will be used for.

  • Don’t agree to a business proposal over the phone - always ask for an offer in writing. Limit the number of people in your business that have access to funds and have the authority to approve purchases.

  • Effective management procedures can go a long way towards preventing these scams from succeeding. Having clearly defined procedures for the verification, payment and management of accounts and invoices is an effective defence against these types of scams.

  • Ask yourself if a caller claims that I have ordered or authorized something and I do not think it sounds right, shouldn’t I ask for proof?

 

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I'm since more then 35 years in the computer business (programming and technical support) and using the Internet since it has started. Since 2002 I'm programming solutions for Asterisk and since 2004 I'm in the call center industry.

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