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HomeTrendingOnline Shopping Fraud: 59 Scammers Arrested By Europol For Cheating Shoppers

Online Shopping Fraud: 59 Scammers Arrested By Europol For Cheating Shoppers

NEW DELHI: As part of the 2022 e-Commerce Action, law enforcement agencies across Europe have joined forces to crack down on e-commerce fraud, resulting in the arrest of 59 fraudsters and the generation of numerous new lines of inquiry.

During the month-long operation (1-31 October 2022), 19 countries participated in a crackdown on criminal networks that used stolen credit card information to purchase expensive items online.

The European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Merchant Risk Council coordinated the operation. It received cooperation directly from merchants, logistic businesses, banks, and payment card networks.

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After several months of planning, law enforcement authorities in participating nations conducted raids at places where unlawfully purchased products had been delivered, arresting suspects and seizing the illegally purchased commodities. To prosecute the suspects, sufficient evidence was compiled to sustain the cases. Investigations are currently ongoing in other nations, and additional arrests are anticipated in the coming weeks.

Participating nations are Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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Even while online payments are normally relatively safe, mostly due to Secure Customer Authentication (SCA) procedures widely deployed in Europe, scammers are always developing new ways to steal money.

eComm 2022 has highlighted the following as the most significant dangers to the e-commerce industry:

  • Phishing, vishing, and smishing fraud: Stolen credit card numbers are frequently obtained through phishing, vishing, and smishing attacks in which criminals contact victims through phone, text message, instant messaging app, or email and attempt to convince them to divulge their credit card information. Sometimes these assaults offer a reward, while other times they imitate a reputable company or government organisation.
  • Account takeover fraud occurs when a criminal acquires access to a user’s e-commerce store account. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including the purchase of stolen passwords, security codes, or personal information on the dark web or the successful implementation of a phishing scam against a specific consumer. Once hackers acquire access to a user’s account, they are able to engage in fraudulent behaviour. For instance, they can modify a user’s account information, make purchases on ecommerce sites, withdraw funds, and even obtain access to the user’s other accounts.
  • Triangulation fraud is when internet fraudsters create a phoney or replica website and use low-cost goods to lure consumers. These bogus websites may sometimes appear in advertisements or be provided to a user via email in a phishing effort. The hitch is that these items either do not exist or are never supplied.

How to counteract online retail scam

Together with Europol and the Merchant Risk Council, law enforcement agencies throughout Europe are launching a public awareness campaign today to provide guidance on how to foil criminals attempting to exploit the online shopping experience.

The objective of the campaign is to increase the security of e-commerce by promoting safe online purchase techniques and assisting new merchants in opening their online stores without the risk of cyberattacks.

To assist businesses in understanding the risks of e-commerce fraud, participating nations and partners will promote the campaign via their social media platforms using the hashtag #SellSafe.

Tips for securing your online business:

  • Ensure that all of your staff are aware of the risks with fraud that plague online stores.
  • Keep abreast on the sorts of payment fraud affecting businesses and equip yourself with the means to prevent them.
  • Learn about your consumers so that you can validate their payments.

Advice for internet buyers:

  • Never send your card number, PIN, or any other card-related information through email.
  • Never give money to an unknown recipient.
  • Save any documentation associated with online purchases.
  • If you are not making a purchase, do not submit your card information.
  • Regularly check your online banking service. Notify your bank immediately if you discover unauthorised payments or withdrawals.

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