Ways to Protect Your Customers From Fraud Threats

It's no secret that online fraud is on the rise. From large companies to small businesses, everyone is vulnerable to attack. The good news is, there are steps you can take to protect your customers from fraudsters. And while merchants and customers have always had to be vigilant against fraudulent activities, the ever-growing sophistication of scammers has made it more important than ever for businesses to take steps to protect their customers.

Ways to Protect Your Customers From Fraud Threats

Fortunately, there are many things businesses can do to help shield their customers from fraud threats. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most effective measures businesses can take to safeguard their customers' information and finances.

Use a Reputable Fraud Management Platform

While you can never eliminate the risk of fraud, using a reputable fraud management platform can help you drastically reduce the chances of being victimized by fraudulent activities. These platforms will provide you with the tools and insights you need to identify and prevent fraudulent activities before even happen. It will also offer chargeback mitigation features that can help you resolve disputes quickly and efficiently if your business does happen to experience any fraudulent activity. By utilizing one of the top fraud prevention solutions on the market, you will also send a strong message to your customers that you are serious about protecting their information and keeping their finances safe. So, before you choose a platform, be sure to do your research and select a solution that has a proven track record of helping businesses like yours prevent fraud.

Require Strong Authentication for High-Risk Transactions

One of the best ways to protect your customers from fraud is to require strong authentication for high-risk transactions. This means requiring customers to provide additional information beyond just their username and password when performing certain actions on your site, such as making a purchase or changing their account information. This could include things like answering security questions, providing a one-time code that is sent to their email or mobile phone, or using biometric authentication methods like fingerprint scanning or facial recognition. By adding this extra layer of security, you can make it much more difficult for fraudsters to gain access to your customer's accounts and information. And, if you only require strong authentication for high-risk transactions, your customers will still be able to move about your site with ease and won't be unnecessarily annoyed by having to constantly verify their identity.

Educate Your Customers about Fraud Threats

One of the best ways to protect your customers from fraud is to educate them about the threats they face. Helping your customers understand how fraudsters operate and what types of scams are out there can go a long way in preventing them from becoming victims of fraud. You can provide this education in several ways, such as through blog posts, email campaigns, social media posts, or even including information on your website's FAQ page. By ensuring that your customers are well-informed about the dangers of online fraud, you can help them make more informed decisions that will help keep themselves and their finances safe.

Keep Your Software and Systems Up-to-Date

Another important step businesses can take to protect their customers from fraud is to keep their software and systems up-to-date. This includes things like ensuring that your site is running the latest version of your content management system (CMS), using only trusted and reputable plugins and extensions, and keeping all software programs on your server up-to-date. By keeping your systems updated, you can help prevent vulnerabilities that could be exploited by fraudsters. Additionally, you should also regularly run security scans of your website to ensure that there is no malware or other malicious code present. And, if you do happen to find any suspicious code on your site, be sure to remove it immediately.

Implement a Data Security Strategy

In today's digital world, businesses must also take steps to protect the data of their customers. This includes things like ensuring that all customer data is stored securely, implementing encryption methods, and regularly backing up all data. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your customer's data is protected in the event of a security breach. Additionally, you should also have a plan in place for how you will respond if a breach does occur. This plan should include steps for how you will notify your customers, what information you will provide them with, and how you will help them regain access to their accounts.

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Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/I8OhOu-wLO4

As you can see, protecting your customers from fraud doesn't need to be a difficult task. By taking the steps outlined above, you can help keep your customers safe from the many threats they face when using your site or app. Additionally, by educating your customers about fraud and implementing strong security measures, you can help build trust and confidence in your brand. And, in today's digital world, that is more important than ever.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • Identitytheft.gov: If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at www.identitytheft.gov. This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

Ways to Protect Your Customers From Fraud Threats