As Cyber Monday and Black Friday loom please be vigilant
Speaking from experience if it's too good to be true it typically is. Make sure that you do your research into the online retailer before making a purchase. Validate the sites feedback and reputation online. This can be done through a very quick google search of either the shop name or contact email address associated with the shop.
I have seen the majority of fake sites being supported on the Shopify platform. Shopify do not police the sites for fake goods. The platform merely provides a conduit for the scammers to open multiple shops. These shops then close down once a transaction threshold has been met.
Statistically you are more likely to fall foul of online fraud than not. A recent article produced by one of the leading cyber security vendors, Sophos, showed that there are FOUR times as many fake retailers than there are honest sites. Furthermore, UK Finance’s “Fraud The Facts 2019” publication quotes that the estimated total value for online fraud in 2018 was £265.1mill an increase of 29% against the findings from 2017.
What can you do if you become a victim of online fraud?
Ensure that you have an audit trail - Keep all transactional email information from the shop, confirmation of purchases and any tracking correspondence
· Complain – Ensure you have raised this with any customer service contact details you might be able to find on the site….and keep a copy of this too.
· Check who is hosting the shop – If this is Shopify there is a complaint process to follow. Most online retailers will have a similar process online. Amazon and eBay are typically faster at processing claims.
· Speak to your bank – As embarrassing as it might be you need to call the bank. As online fraud has become more prevalent banking institutes are now more aware of the threats and how to claw your money back. It might take a few weeks but as long as you have honestly been defrauded the bank will work in your best interests to reclaim your money where it can.
Cognisys Group, based in Halifax, provide a wide variety of cyber security services along with user awareness training. Please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns regarding cyber security.