3 Ecommerce Scams to Watch Out For

Posted on Feb 6 2017 - 10:32am by Editor

Shopping online is a wonderful thing. With a few keystrokes you can hunt for the hottest deals and most unique products that you desire; or you can set up your own ecommerce store, stocked with handmade goodies or resale items.

But while ecommerce is opening new opportunities for sellers and consumers, it is also offering additional points of incursion for cybercriminals. Savvy hackers make a living from stolen credit card information and other scams which not only harm shoppers, but can also affect the reliability of e-store sellers.

3 Ecommerce Scams to Watch Out For

If you want to protect your free ecommerce store, get familiar with these hacker tricks:

What Is Content Scrapping?

Content scrapping, also known as web scrapping, is the act of stealing content from a free ecommerce store or site to post elsewhere on the web. This means that a competitor could rip photos, product descriptions and even prices from your site to their own without your ever knowing about it!

This is bad news for you since it decreases the searchability of your ecommerce store, but it’s even worse for shoppers who are fooled into buying bogus products from scrapped sites.

Why It Works

Scrapping tools, or bots, are inexpensive and widely available for download online. Within a few minutes or seconds, scammers can pilfer your site and steal your customers (which is what happened to QVC). Not to mention that it is very hard to track down scrappers, prove they plagiarized your content and demonstrate they caused harm to your business.

What You Can Do

Thankfully, there are several methods you can use to combat scrapping. The first is a simple search engine tool which allows you to detect duplicate sites across the Internet. The next step is to contact the site owner about the stolen content with a DMCA notice demanding that they cease and desist infringement on your intellectual property.

What Is Credit Card Fraud?

The reasons for credit card fraud are pretty obvious, it’s stolen money after all, but the ways hackers use it may surprise you. For example, cybercriminals will ransack credit card numbers from your ecommerce site using phishing scams to infiltrate customer accounts (sometimes dozens); they will then order products to a ‘drop’ location for easy pick up until the card is declined; they will then retire the card and use another one in what is known as ‘rinse and repeat’; once this is completed, they will sell all information stolen to the dark web for a few extra bucks and disappear into cyberspace.

Why It Works

‘Rinse and repeat’ scams are often performed on a large scale and credit card data can be stolen in any number of ways and used on any number of sites. With the proper encryption, perpetrators can commit crimes and disappear with little chance of being caught.

What You Can Do

The key to stopping credit card fraud is a better understanding on how hackers and bots operate. Look for red flags. For example, if you’re seeing dozens of orders pending around the country delivering to the same address, it’s probably the work of a cyber crook. See if your free ecommerce site provider offers automated cybersecurity detection and prevention.

What Is Spoofing?

Another method of incursion is spoofing, in which an intruder pretends to be a user to gain unauthorized access to an account. This can happen in any number of ways including email, social media, phone calls, etc.

Why It Works

Spoofing preys on our natural inclination to trust someone. If a crafty criminal messages your e-store’s Facebook page complaining they can’t get access to their account or shopping cart, you may be coaxed into sharing financial or sign-in information with the imposter.

What You Can Do

If you think you are being spoofed, reach out the intended user via phone number or email. The legitimate user is probably unaware of the intruder and will tell you so. Never share a customer’s personal information! Instead, recommend that they make a new account and go through the steps to reinitiate their order.

Don’t let cybercriminals get the upper hand on your ecommerce store. Educate yourself about cybersecurity risks and safeguard your business — and your shoppers — from nefarious actors.

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