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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Increase In eCommerce Fraud
August 03, 2011

Increase In eCommerce Fraud

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Increase In eCommerce Fraud

Since mid-March, merchants have experienced a serious increase in fraud attempts. The nature of the fraud attempts was that criminals had the complete identity information: name, address, email address, and IP address of the consumer.

After investigation, evidence suggests it is due to fake "eCommerce Donation Sites" It is believed the increase in fraud attacks is tied to fake donation sites that took advantage of the earthquakes and Tsunami in Japan.

This belief is supported because the fraudsters have the exact information on the data elements for making purchases, and the accuracy rate is very good. Therefore, it is most likely the data is being collected from fraudulent sites that took donations from the devastating earthquakes and Tsunami in Japan.

It is believed the fraudsters used social networks to promote the donation sites to expand their reach farther and faster than has been viewed in previous years. The timing is exactly right; other major tragedies have been viewed as the cause to increased fraud spikes such as Hurricane Katrina. In fact, fake donation sites were such a problem for Katrina, the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) was originally established by the Department of Justice to investigate, prosecute, and deter fraud in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud from any natural or man-made disaster. More than 20 federal agencies, including the FBI, participate in the NCDF, allowing it to act as a centralized clearinghouse for information related to relief fraud. After the Tsunami in Japan, immediately there were fraudulent donation sites and organizations appearing. According to a Websense threat report, "following the disasters in Japan, cybercriminals tried to utilize every possible underground technique to benefit from this occurrence. Apart from already known ways such as phishing and malicious spam emails, criminals used Viral Facebook applications."

If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other Cyber crime, you can report it to the IC3 website at: The IC3 complaint database links complaints for potential referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration. Complaint information is also used to identity emerging trends and patterns.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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